Lalka is the second of four major novels by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus. It was composed for periodical serialization in 1887-89 and appeared in book form in 1890. The Doll has been regarded by some, including Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz, as the greatest Polish novel. According to Prus biographer Zygmunt Szweykowski, it may be unique in 19th-century world literature as a comprehensive, compelling picture of an entire society. While The Doll takes its fortuitous title from a minor episode involving a stolen toy, readers commonly assume that it refers to the principal female character, the young aristocrat Izabela Łecka.