Great Expectations

Front Cover
Knopf, 1992 - Fiction - 469 pages

One of Charles Dickens's most fascinating novels, Great Expectations follows the orphan Pip as he leaves behind a childhood of misery and poverty after an anonymous benefactor offers him a chance at the life of a gentleman.

From the young Pip's first terrifying encounter with the convict Magwitch in the gloom of a graveyard to the splendidly morbid set pieces in Miss Havisham's mansion to the magnificently realized boat chase down the Thames, Great Expectations is filled with the transcendent excitement that Dickens could so abundantly provide.

Written in 1860, at the height of his maturity, it also reveals the novelist's bittersweet understanding of the extent to which our deepest moral dilemmas are born of our own obsessions and illusions.

This edition includes Dickens's original, discarded conclusion to the novel, the 1907 Everyman preface by G. K. Chesterton, and twenty illustrations by F. W. Pailthorpe.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)


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User Review  - HerbThomas - LibraryThing

Great Expectations was assigned reading when I was in ninth grade. I thought it was the most dreary thing I had ever read. Sensing that the memories from my youth might be mistaken, I tried again. I ... Read full review

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The book is high quality and contains a lot of information in the start of it. I wanted a copy to have that reflected the classic book and I beliebe this copy does. Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city-cold, isolated with barely enough to eat-haunted him for the rest of his life.

When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) complete his major works.

Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day.

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