Neighbors Bid to Save ‘Oliver Twist’ Workhouse that Inspired Charles Dickens

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LONDON (AP).- It’s a battered brick building behind a high wall in London — austere, overlooked and slated for demolition. Look closer, and it’s linked to one of Britain’s greatest authors as well as to a shameful period in the nation’s social history. Two centuries ago this neglected London edifice was a workhouse, where the city’s destitute labored for rations of gruel. Their plight inspired social reformers — including a neighbor, Charles Dickens, who likely used the building as inspiration for his novel “Oliver Twist.” Advocates hope the newly discovered link to the novelist will help them win their uphill battle to save the building from developers who plan to tear it down and build new apartments and a local lawmaker who has branded it an ugly relic of an inhuman institution. “We wouldn’t think of demolishing Georgian stately homes, squares and terraces where the upper class lived,” said