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Great Expectations
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Great Expectations (Paperback)

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Synopsis

'His novels will endure as long as the language itself' Peter Ackroyd



Dickens's haunting late novel depicts the education and development of a young man, Pip, as his life is changed by a series of events - a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - and he discovers the true nature of his 'great expectations'. This definitive edition includes appendices on Dickens's original ending, giving an illuminating glimpse into a great novelist at work.



With an Introduction by DAVID TROTTER

Edited and with notes by CHARLOTTE MITCHELL

Fiction & PoetryClassic fiction pre 1945 Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Publication Date: 30/11/2002 ISBN-13: 9780141439563  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenally successful Pickwick Papers (1836-7). His novels captured and held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. David Trotter is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature and Head of Department at University College London. Charlotte Mitchell is Lecturer in English at University College London.

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Staff Choice

Like most high school students of English, I was once lumbered with studying this book. Strangely, my class wasn't required to actually read it, a plot summary and a cursory glance through the film was deemed sufficient for our understanding of the text. This bothered me. Did they not think us up to the challenge of reading it? Or was it in fact a deeply boring and badly written book? Neither option boded well and I've regarded it with suspicion ever since. Until two weeks ago, when I fell in love with the tiny Tim Burton-esque Miss Havisham on the Vintage Classics edition and decided it was time to give this poor book a chance. I can now humbly report that my not-terribly-great-expectations were blown out of the water by this humorous, richly written, compelling and occasionally macabre tale of high Dickensian charm. My 16-year-old self stands eternally corrected.

Marion, Charing Cross Road

 

This is the purest novel that I have had the pleasure to read. It is fiction for fiction's sake and what a mighty fiction it is! The plot is characteristically Dickensian: looping around on itself, meandering along side streets. It is also a profoundly humane book and, unusually for Dickens, triumphantly avoids sentimentality in a crucial way. Pip's ambitions are characteristic of youth: to escape his modest past and to live a noble life. He only truly attains greatness, however, in his rejection of this dream, in his acknowledgement of the nobility of the simple folk he left behind.

Ben, Charing Cross Road

 

 

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 05/04/2016

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