Charles Dickens Great Expectations: Authoritative Text, Backrounds, Contexts, Criticism

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W W Norton & Company Incorporated, Jan 1, 1999 - Fiction - 748 pages
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Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the escaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. Pip must discover his true self, and his own set of values and priorities. Whether such values allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels. This edition includes the original, discarded ending, Dickens's brief working notes, and the serial instalments and chapter divisions in different editions. It also uses the definitive Clarendon text.

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This book I found inspirational. As Pip was able to step out of his situation and expect "great expectation" for his future. However, it had caused a transition in his character, but, besides that fact this book is motivational.

About the author (1999)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

A native of Germany, Edgar Rosenberg received his Ph.D. at Stanford University and since 1965 as been Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He is the author of From Shylock to Svengali and some fifty pieces of short fiction, translations, and articles in journals ranging from Esquire to Commentary to The Dickensian . He has taught at San Jose State College and Harvard University, has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University and the University of Haifa, and has received Guggenheim, Fulbright, Bread Loaf, and Stanford Fiction Fellowships as well as the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award at Cornell.

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