Originally published in serial form from 1855-1857, Little Dorrit is Amy, born in debtor's prison, the youngest child of debtor William Dorrit, an inmate of the Marshalsea. The two are befriended by a man whose wife hires Little Dorrit as a seamstress. When William Dorrit inherits a fortune, he escapes the Marshalsea. The family, assuming a station befitting heir wealth, travel to Italy. Meantime, their benefactor falls onto hard times all his own when he becomes the victim of a gigantic fraud perpetrated by an eminent financier. When he is sentenced to the Marshalsea, Little Dorrit finds him there. The relationship that develops between them reveals the counterpoint of ambition juxtaposed with humility, acquisitiveness contrasted with generosity, and regret despite good fortune held up for examination against the brighter light of optimism despite dire circumstance.