Charles Dickens is generally considered the greatest English author of the Victorian period. Little Dorritt
was first published serially from 1855 to 1857 and then in book form in 1857. It was made into a movie in 1988.
The heroine is a young Amy Dorritt, Little Dorritt of the title, who lives most of her life at the Marshalsea Prison where her father is imprisoned for debt. The story has the usual Dickensonian twists and turns.
To give you a feeling for the setting, here's a quote from Chapter Three: It was a Sunday evening in London, gloomy, close, and stale. Maddening church bells of all degrees of dissonance, sharp and flat, cracked and clear, fast and slow, made the brick-and-mortar echoes hideous. Melancholy streets, in a penitential garb of soot, steeped the souls of the people who were condemned to look at them out of windows, in dire despondency. In every thoroughfare, up almost every alley, and down almost every turning, some doleful bell was throbbing, jerking, tolling, as if the Plague were in the city and the dead-carts were going round. Everything was bolted and barred that could by possibility furnish relief to an overworked people. No pictures, no unfamiliar animals, no rare plants or flowers, no natural or artificial wonders of the ancient world--all TABOO with that enlightened strictness, that the ugly South Sea gods in the British Museum might have supposed themselves at home again. Nothing to see but streets, streets, streets. Nothing to breathe but streets, streets, streets. Nothing to change the brooding mind, or raise it up. Nothing for the spent toiler to do, but to compare the monotony of his seventh day with the monotony of his six days, think what a weary life he led, and make the best of it--or the worst, according to the probabilities.
Fortunately, Little Dorritt eventually triumphs!