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Like a King Without a Crown

Charles Dickens

It has long been rumoured that Dickens based the character Fagin, in Oliver Twist, on Ikey Solomon. This is largely because there are similarities between the trial of Fagin and the trial of Solomon. Dickens apparently attended the trial.
While there may be a link here the characters are actually very different. Fagin is a repulsive figure whereas Ikey was a dashing character. There is also no evidence that Ikey trained gangs of young boys to do his bidding.
It does appear, however, that Solomon suffered quite deeply from the implication that he was Fagin, especially towards the end of his life when he was losing grip on reality and had become a figure of ridicule.

Fagin in his Cell (1838), a copperplate engraving by the famous British caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank.  Cruikshank created many book illustrations for his friend, Charles Dickens.
Fagin in his Cell (1838), a copperplate engraving by the famous British caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank. Cruikshank created many book illustrations for his friend, Charles Dickens.

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