Great Expectations

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 2003 - Fiction - 514 pages
39 Reviews
Charles Dickens's Great Expectations - now a major new film from director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter) - charts the course of orphan Pip Pirrip's life as it is transformed by a vast, mysterious inheritance. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with notes by Charlotte Mitchell, and an introduction by David Trotter. Adapted from Dickens's novel by bestselling author David Nicholls (One Day), Great Expectations stars Ralph Fiennes (The Reader), Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and also features Robbie Coltrane, David Walliams and Sally Hawkins. A terrifying encounter with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decrepit Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella at Satis House; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble station as an apprentice to blacksmith Joe Gargery, beginning a new life as a gentleman. Charles Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his identity, and his 'great expectations'. This definitive version uses the text from the first published edition of 1861. It includes a map of Kent in the early nineteenth century, and appendices on Dickens's original ending and his working notes, giving readers an illuminating glimpse into the mind of a great novelist at work. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. 'Great Expectations is up there for me with the world's greatest novels' Howard Jacobson

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cailin - LibraryThing

I read Great Expectations for my book group. I listened to the audio book and then read the book off and on. I really enjoyed all of the characters, the contrast they had to one another and the plot ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kenkuhlken - LibraryThing

Of the authors I’ve read, Dickens is tops in blending seamless plotting, characters who are both complex and consistent, a gradual and steady building of tension with new questions and complications ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.


Charlotte Mitchell is lecturer in English at University College London.


David Trotter is Quain Professor of English Language at the University College London.


Charlotte Mitchell is lecturer in English at University College London.

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