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Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by…

Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) (original 1861; edition 2002)

by Charles Dickens

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24,46728644 (3.91)2 / 1317
Title:Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Charles Dickens
Info:Penguin Classics (2002), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:classic, England, 19th century, crime

Work details

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861)

  1. 110
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  2. 121
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Mister Pip explores the reading and interpretation of Great Expectations in a late 20th century South Sea island culture in the midst of a civil war.
  3. 101
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Maiasaura)
  4. 60
    The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: Thursday Next is a Literary Detective who helps to keep people from changing plots in books, keep book characters from escaping etc. When she goes in for training, who should she be apprenticed to but Miss Havisham who is more than happy to get out of her dreary rooms once and a while. What larks!… (more)
  5. 50
    Adam Bede by George Eliot (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: If you enjoyed the 'good hard working pastoral theme' of his uncle and their 'Larks' you may enjoy Adam Bede which has many of the same themes.
  6. 31
    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Great Expectations and Bonfire of the Vanities can be successfully tied together in that both the authors explore the themes of ostentation, ambition and morality
  7. 31
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Johanna11)
    Johanna11: Both books write about people with expectations for their future, both are very well written at the end of the nineteenth century.
  8. 20
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (suzanney)
  9. 20
    Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  10. 21
    Drood by Dan Simmons (caittilynn)
  11. 10
    The Princess Casamassima by Henry James (suniru)
  12. 22
    An Unofficial Rose by Iris Murdoch (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In der Einleitung zu "an unofficial rose" von Anthony D. Nuttall wird Dickens als Vergleich herangezogen: "An Unofficial Rose is indeed a surprisingly Dickensian novel, crowded, superabundant."
  13. 45
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (krizia_lazaro)
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Romans (16)

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I love how Dickens seems to unwrap what appears to be a series of disconnected lives into a finely crafted purposeful communal web. The message about what drives people toward contentment and happiness rings true! ( )
  jnmwheels | Apr 3, 2016 |
the first Dickens novel I ever remember reading, as a teenager
  frahealee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Incredible knowledge of human feelings and failings. Such depiction of friendship, and love, I have read but few times. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Dickens was a great writer, and deserves all the praise he gets.

That said.

I didn't like this book. I don't relate to stories like this and have a hard time connecting with the motivations of the characters. I find the majority of the actions exasperating, and rather than propelling me forward in the tale, I'm just left wondering how long this will go on. Unfortunately Dickens was paid by the word, so the answer is inevitably, too long. ( )
  NateK | Mar 6, 2016 |
The story is divided into four phases of Pip's life expectations.

On Christmas Eve, young Pip, an orphan being raised by his sister and her husband, encounters a convict in the village churchyard. The man, a convict who has escaped from a prison ship, scares Pip into stealing him some food and a file to grind away his leg shackle. This incident is crucial: firstly, it gives Pip, who must steal the goods from his sister's house, his first taste of true guilt, and, secondly, Pip's kindness warms the convict's heart. The convict, however, waits many years to truly show his gratitude.

At his sister's house, Pip is a boy without expectations. Mrs. Joe beats him around and has nothing good to say about her little brother. Her husband Joe is a kind man, although he is a blacksmith without much ambition, and it's assumed that Pip will follow in his footsteps. Only when Pip gets invited unexpectedly to the house of a rich old woman in the village named Miss Havisham, does Mrs. Joe, or any of her dull acquaintances, hold out any hope for Pip's success.

Indeed, Pip's visits to Miss Havisham change him. Miss Havisham is an old woman who was abandoned on her wedding day and has, as a result, given up on life. She wears a yellowed wedding gown and haunts around her decrepit house, her only companion being Estella, her adopted daughter. Estella is beautiful, and Pip develops a strong crush on her, a crush that turns into love as he grows older. But it is unrequited love, as Miss Havisham has made it her dark life's project to raise Estella as a cruel-hearted girl who will break men's hearts, satisfying Miss Havisham's own desire to spurn love.

Pip frequently visits Miss Havisham, until one day she tells him never to return because the time has come for his apprenticeship with Joe to begin. Having tasted the spoils of a better life, Pip is miserable as a blacksmith and constantly worries that Estella will look through the forge window and see him as horribly common. Estella soon leaves the village, and things progress until one day Mrs. Joe suffers an attack which leaves her mute and incapacitated but much nicer. A young girl about Pip's age, Biddy, comes to live at the house in order to care for Mrs. Joe. Pip again settles into his routine, until one night at Joe's house, a London lawyer, Jaggers, approaches Pip, revealing startling news: Pip has inherited a sum of money from an anonymous benefactor, a condition of which is that he must leave for London immediately, to buy some clothes and to become a gentleman. Pip accepts the condition.

In London, Pip studies with a tutor and lives with a new and close friend, Herbert. Pip is certain that his benefactor is the rich Miss Havisham. In addition, he becomes convinced that Miss Havisham's financial support towards his elevated social status is the result of her desire that he may marry Estella someday. Pip passes many years in London; he remains ashamed of Joe, and they grow apart; Mrs. Joe dies, as he becomes more and more infatuated with Estella--who seems to get colder and colder by the day--he never confesses his love. Among the people he knows in London are Wemmick, a clerk in Jaggers' office who becomes a friend, and Bentley Drummle, a horrible brute of a boy who begins to become interested in Estella.

One stormy night, Pip learns the true identity of his benefactor. It is not Miss Havisham (who has made many misleading comments indicating it was her) but rather a petty criminal named Magwitch who had been transported to New South Wales. Magwitch is the convict Pip fed in the churchyard many years ago, and he's left all his money to Pip in gratitude for that kindness and also because young Pip reminded him of his own child, whom he thinks is dead. The news of his benefactor crushes Pip--he's ashamed of him, and worse yet, Magwitch wants to spend the rest of his days with Pip. Pip takes this on like a dreadful duty, and it's all the worse because Magwitch is a wanted man in England and will be hanged if he's caught.

Eventually, a plan is hatched by Herbert and Pip, whereby Pip and Magwitch will flee the country by rowing down the river and catching a steamer bound for mainland Europe. This must be done on the sly, and further complicating matters is the fact that an old criminal enemy of Magwitch's, Compeyson, is hot in pursuit. Compeyson, it's discovered, is the same man that swindled and jilted Miss Havisham so many years back. Miss Havisham, meanwhile, is softening a bit and seems repentant for her life-long mission against love.

Estella has been married to Bentley Drummle, a marriage that anyone can see will be an unhappy one. Just before Pip is to flee with Magwitch, he makes one last visit to Miss Havisham and finds her filled with regret, wanting his forgiveness. Unfortunately, she gets a little too close to the fire and sets herself ablaze. Pip heroically saves her, but she's badly burned and does eventually die from her injuries.

Pip and Magwitch, along with Herbert and another friend, Startop, make a gallant attempt to help Magwitch escape, but instead he's captured--pointed out, in fact, by his old enemy Compeyson. Compeyson dies in the struggle, and Magwitch, badly injured, goes to jail. Pip by now is devoted to Magwitch and recognizes in him a good and noble man. Magwitch dies, however, not long before he's slated to be executed. Pip has discovered that Magwitch is actually Estella's father, and on Magwitch's deathbed, Pip tells Magwitch his discovery and also that he loves Estella.

Without money or expectations, Pip, after a period of bad illness during which Joe cares for him, goes into business overseas with Herbert. Joe has married Biddy, and after eleven relatively successful years abroad, Pip goes to visit them out in the marshes. They are happy and have a child, whom they've named Pip. Finally, Pip makes one last visit to Miss Havisham's house, where he finds Estella wandering. Her marriage is over, and she seems to have grown children and wants Pip to accept her as a friend. When the novel ends, it seems that there is hope that Pip and Estella will finally end up together.

[edit] The first stage of Pip's expectations:
Pip, a young orphan, lives a humble existence with his shrewish older sister and her strong but kind husband, Joe Gargery. One day Pip meets Magwitch, an escaped convict, and brings him food and a file after the man threatens his life. This convict is later caught again and sent away.

Pip is satisfied with his life and his warm friends until he is hired by an extremely wealthy woman, Miss Havisham, as an occasional companion to her beautiful but haughty adopted daughter, Estella. Pip falls in love with Estella. From that time on, Pip aspires to leave behind his simple life and be a gentleman. After years as companion to Miss Havisham and Estella, he spends more years as an apprentice to Joe so that he may grow up to have a future working as a blacksmith.

After a fight with Joe's assistant, Orlick, Mrs. Joe is found in the kitchen after a terrible attack.

This life is suddenly turned upside down when he is visited by a London lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, who informs Pip that he is to come into the "great expectations" of handsome property and be trained to be a gentleman on the behalf of an anonymous benefactor (whom Pip assumes to be Miss Havisham).

[edit] The second stage of Pip's expectations:
Pip travels to London. He arrives on a carriage near Mr. Jaggers' offices. After a stroll around the area, Pip is told by Mr. Jaggers that he will temporarily stay at the Barnard's Inn. Upon arriving, he finds Herbert Pocket (a relative of Miss Havisham), who informs Pip of Miss Havisham's past. Apparently, Miss Havisham had once been deceived by her jealous brother (Arthur Havisham) and an accomplice (Compeyson). Compeyson had misconstrued her into falling in love with him but had fled with her wealth, leaving her at the altar. Angered and humiliated, she raises Estella to take revenge on all males.

With Mr. Herbert Pocket, Pip receives an education and tutoring in manners, fine clothing, and cultured society. Whereas he always engaged in honest labour when he was younger, he is now supported by a generous allowance, which he frequently lives beyond. He learns to fit in this new milieu, and experiences not only friendship but rivalry as he finds himself in the same circles as Estella, who is also pursued by many other men, especially Bentley Drummle.

As he adopts the physical and cultural norms of his new status, he also adopts the class attitudes that go with it, and when Joe comes to visit Pip and his friend and roommate Herbert to deliver an important message, Pip is embarrassed to the point of hostility by Joe's illiterate ways, despite his protestations of love of and friendship for Joe. At the end of this stage, Pip is introduced to his anonymous benefactor, Magwitch, the escaped convict he helped long ago who has now acquired affluence in Australia. This revelation again changes his world and ends this stage of his expectation.

[edit] The third stage of Pip's expectations:
From this point on, Pip's life changes from the artificially supported world of his upper class strivings and introduces him to realities that he must deal with, including moral and financial challenges. He learns startling truths - including that Magwitch is innocent (framed by Compeyson) and that Estella is Magwitch's daughter. He realizes that he cannot accept Magwitch's fortune, is cast into doubt about the valuence embraced so eagerly, and finds that he cannot regain many of the important things that he had cast aside so carelessly. Moreover, he discovers that Bentley Drummle has wooed Estella. Pip tries to warn Estella, but she ignores his admonitions and continues with the engagement.

Pip returns to Satis House and finds Miss Havisham distraught with remorse. Miss Havisham realizes that she has done Pip wrong and that she has also ruined Estella. She begs his forgiveness, which he quickly gives. Later, whilst sitting next to a fireplace, her dress catches fire, and she goes up in flames. However, Pip saves her though he burns his own hands. Miss Havisham loses her sanity and since then perpetually asks for Pip's forgiveness.

Pip soon receives an invitation mysterious stranger to the Marshes in his old town. There, he is kidnapped by Orlick, who despises Pip for smearing his reputation with Biddy whom he secretly admires. He admits to attacking Pip's sister and is about to kill Pip just when he is saved by Herbert.

They return to London and attempt to smuggle Magwitch from England to Hamburg, Germany on a foreign steamer. This attempt fails when Compeyson leads the police to the ship Magwitch is on. Magwitch seizes Compeyson, and a fight in the water ensues. Compeyson dies, and Magwitch is hit by the keel of the steamer ship, which was to take him away, and is apprehended. Soon after, Mr. Wemmick marries Miss Skiffins, and Herbert leaves for Cairo, Egypt. Magwitch falls ill, and Pip tells him before he dies that his daughter (Estella) is still alive and that he loves her. Magwitch dies in peace, but Pip falls ill. His illness is brought on by a his kidnapping and near murder from Orlick, the former hand at Joe's forge. Joe tends to him and pays the debts that Pip has accumulated. Pip eventually travels with Herbert as an occupation to the Middle East.

[edit] The ending
Charles Dickens wrote two different endings for Great Expectations. Dickens changed the ending at the suggestion of a friend, the novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton, presumably for the sake of a happier ending.[citation needed] The majority of books being published currently contain the first ending, or both, with the Dickens' original with its own explanation.

Original ending:

Pip meets Estella on the streets. Her abusive husband Drummle has died, and she has remarried, to a doctor. Estella and Pip exchange brief pleasantries, after which Pip states while he could not have her in the end, he was at least glad to know she was a different person now, somewhat changed from the cold-hearted girl Miss Havisham had reared her to be. The novel ends with Pip saying he could see that "suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham's teaching and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be."

Revised ending:

Pip and Estella meet again at the ruins of Satis House:

'"We are friends," said I, rising and bending over her, as she rose from the bench.

"And will continue friends apart," said Estella.

I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.'

( )
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickens, Charlesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calder, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardwell, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, Gilbert KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flint, KateIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayens, KennethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irving, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, RadhikaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jung-Grell, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lang, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Law, GrahamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leyris, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, CharlotteEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, FrederickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pailthorpe, Frederic W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinching, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinnington, AdrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhys, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Searle, RonaldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snyder, Zilpha KeatleyForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MarcusIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Threapleton, Mary M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trapiello, AndrésIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trotter, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallve, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, StanleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, AngusAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Chauncy Hare Townshend
First words
My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
Neither were my notions of the theological positions to which my Catechism bound me, at all accurate; for, I have a lively remembrance that I supposed my declaration that I was to "walk in the same all the days of my life," laid me under an obligation always to go through the village from our house in one particular direction, and never to vary it by turning down by the wheelwright's or up by the mill.
...a money-box was kept on the kitchen mantel-shelf, in to which it was publicly made known that all my earnings were dropped. I have an impression that they were to be contributed eventually towards the liquidation of the National Debt, but I know I had no hope of any personal participation in the treasure.
Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt kept an evening school in the village; that is to say, she was a ridiculous old woman of limited means and unlimited infirmity, who used to go to sleep from six to seven every evening, in the society of youth who paid two pence per week each, for the improving opportunity of seeing her do it.
I had little objection to his being seen by Herbert or his father, for both of whom I had a respect; but I had the sharpest sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle, whom I held in contempt. So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.  (Chapter XXVII)
"Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in, I have no doubt," said Estella, "and of course if it ceased to beat I should cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no--sympathy--sentiment--nonsense."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Great Expectations. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc. If this is your book but it is an abridged or adapted version, consider changing the isbn to match your version so that it can be combined with the correct abridgement or adaptation.
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This book is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online ...

One of the finest novels by iconic British author Charles Dickens, this Victorian tale follows the good-natured orphan Pip as he makes his way through life. As a boy, Pip crosses paths with a convict named Magwitch, a man who will heavily influence Pip’s adulthood. Meanwhile, the earnest young man falls for the beautiful Estella, the adoptive daughter of the affluent and eccentric Miss Havisham. Widely considered to be Dickens's last great book, the story is steeped in romance and features the writer's familiar themes of crime, punishment, and societal struggle. 384
Haiku summary
Characters stick in
my memory: Estella,
Joe, Miss H. And yours?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439564, Paperback)

An absorbing mystery as well as a morality tale, the story of Pip, a poor village lad, and his expectations of wealth is Dickens at his most deliciously readable. The cast of characters includes kindly Joe Gargery, the loyal convict Abel Magwitch and the haunting Miss Havisham. If you have heartstrings, count on them being tugged.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:50 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Great Expectations is at once a superbly constructed novel of spellbinding mastery and a profound examination of moral values. Here, some of Dickens's most memorable characters come to play their part in a story whose title itself reflects the deep irony that shaped Dickens's searching reappraisal of the Victorian middle class.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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49 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

9 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439564, 0141023538, 0451531183, 014104036X, 0141330139, 0143106279, 0141198893, 0141392592, 0143123793

Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

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Tantor Media

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 190783253X, 1907832513

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2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1449875327, 1449875335

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