Little Dorrit is about WIlliam Dorrit, incarcerated in a debtor's prison called Marshalsea, until he can work off his unpaid debts. Interestingly, this is where Dickens's own father had been imprisoned. It is a satire about government and society's shortcomings, and lack of a safety net for industrial workers. Structured as two books: "Poverty" and "Riches," it was first published in serial form between 1855 to 1857, then as a novel in 1857. From Dickens' preface: "In the Preface to Bleak House I remarked that I had never had so many readers. In the Preface to its next successor, Little Dorrit, I have still to repeat the same words. Deeply sensible of the affection and confidence that have grown up between us, I add to this Preface, as I added to that, May we meet again! -- London May 1857"