"I keep a very nice house."

Category: Places | Type: Historical | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter LVII

The house is a "lock-up" or "sponging house," which is a place of preliminary confinement for debtors until they either pay their creditors or are convicted and then sent to a debtors' prison such as the Marshalsea. In Sketches by Boz, "Passage in the Life of Mr. Watkins Tottle," Dickens offers a lively, realistic sketch of a sponging house's inhabitants. Before being imprisoned in the Marshalsea, Dickens's father spent some days in a sponging house. 

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