Little Dorrit was the eleventh novel from Charles Dickens, serialised between 1855 and 1857. A rags to riches story set in the 1820’s, Little Dorrit centres around the changing fortunes of the Dorrit family.
The term ‘Circumlocution Office’ was first coined by Charles Dickens in his novel Little Dorrit to describe, and parody, the government bureaucracy of the day.
In this quote, Arthur Clennam has come to the house of the Barnacle family, just off Grosvenor Square, to find out information about William Dorrit. The Barnacles are a family deep entrenched in running the Circumlocution Office, a government department. At the house, Arthur is received by one of the Barnacle family, who is giving typically evasive responses to Arthur’s questions and eventually sending him on his way.
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