Item description for Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Mitchell & David Trotter...
Overview A young orphan, Pip, receives a fortune from a mysterious benefactor and travels to London in order to become a gentleman
The orphan Pip's terrifying encounter with an escaped convict on the Kent marshes, and his mysterious summons to the house of Miss Havisham and her cold, beautiful ward Estella, form the prelude to his "great expectations." How Pip comes into a fortune, what he does with it, and what he discovers through his secret benefactor are the ingredients of his struggle for moral redemption.
Citations And Professional Reviews Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Mitchell & David Trotter has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Entertainment Weekly - 08/19/2011 page 109
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Studio: Penguin Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.68" Width: 5.06" Height: 0.91" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Dec 31, 2002
Publisher Penguin Classics
Series Penguin Classics
ISBN 0141439564 ISBN13 9780141439563 UPC 051488008002
Availability 0 units.
More About Charles Dickens, Charlotte Mitchell & David Trotter
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. David Pascoe is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has also edited Thackeray's The Newcomers for Penguin Classics.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870.
Reviews - What do customers think about Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)?
A Novel of tears as well as laughter. An enjoyable classic. May 18, 2008
Great Expectations is one of Dickens's later novels, a work of his artistic maturity. The narrative is symbolic rather than realistic. Although, as in most of Dickens and in Victorian literature in general, the plot relies heavily on coincidence, it is acceptable here because the events are true to the internal, psychological, logic of the story.
Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a boy who starts as an orphan who moves on to apprenticeship in the business world of nineteenth-century England. Along the way, he falls in love with a girl from a wealthy family, and gains a mysterious patron. The book is heavy on character development and descriptive detail, but relatively light on action and suspense. The orphan Pip, the convict Magwitch, the beautiful Estella and her guardian, the embittered and vengeful Miss Havisham, the master lawyer Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick his secretive assistant - all play their part in this story which is a memoir, a mystery, and a romance. Great Expectations never loses sight of the social mishaps of the time and is often on the teacher's list in literature classics. Most people who read it will like it and will be able to identify with the characters, but impatient readers will drown in the details, extended descriptions and explanations, and deep characterizations.
Expectations Greatly Exceeded Apr 21, 2008
Who knew that a book written almost 150 years ago could be so great? Not me. Granted, part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much was because I had expected it not to be (A Tale of Two Cities is still collecting dust on my bookshelf). The writing is flawless; characters, wonderfully varied; and plot, save an occasional feeling of contrivance at the almost uncanny character interconnections, spectacular.
Pip, an orphan, lives with his 20 plus years older sister Georgiana "Mrs. Joe" Gargery, an unhappy woman who "rampages" on him and her blacksmith husband Joe, a simple, kind man. During an unexpected encounter with a shackled escaped convict, he is coerced into helping the man to prevent bodily injury to himself. It's not the last the boy will see of him. Pip is later asked to visit an eccentric woman (having been left at the altar by a scheming fiancé), where he encounters the beautiful but cold Estella, a future love interest, and several other central characters. Eventually an anonymous donor provides monetary help to Pip hoping that it will facilitate his becoming a gentleman and a scholar. But as his financial situation changes from meager but adequate to one of relative wealth, his personality transforms from kindhearted and unpretentious to inconsiderate and snobbish. Only through the adversity that follows his attempt to fulfill the expectations of his benefactor does Pip learn some important life lessons.
Also good, Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones (wish I hadn't read it before GE), An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.
Expect Great Things Apr 14, 2008
I agonized through this book in HS and have recently breezed through it. About 30 years have passed in between. What I was most struck by in my second reading was how relevant the story was to our own times. Child abuse and emotionally damaging relationships, celebrity lawyers, prison reform, the dangers of easy credit, how easily a person can dispose of their past identity. Dickens wrote about this 140+ years ago but he could have been writing about the present day. Yes, a reader has to warm up to the 19th century language, but once that happens, the characters and their emotions are so authentic and fully developed. I found myself so annoyed at Pip in the middle of the novel, I almost put it down. How could I possibly care about such an obnoxious young man. But I did care and cared more and more deeply as the book wound down. Pip's transformation was convincing because the reader sees how it occurs in small increments. In the end I took a deep breath and thought to myself, well, Pip, you finally grew up. It may not be the best book to force teenagers to read, but I hope mature readers will take it up and find the treasures inside.
Enjoyably Obvious Mar 21, 2008
Dickens is the most obvious of writers. All of his novels are to various extents semi autobiographical. All are loaded with funny named people who, aside from the main characters, are caricatures rather than humans who think and feel with any semblance of subtlety or complexity. All are deeply concerned with social injustice and class struggle. Most are filled with plot twists, and almost all are very enjoyable reads. Dickens is nothing if not a master storyteller who loves to manipulate the emotions of his reading public. It is no wonder he is the most popular author of the Victorian age, and maybe second only to Shakespeare in the history of English literature.
Great Expectations, along with David Copperfield are my 2 favorite Dickens novels, probably because they both have more overtly autobiographical elements than his other works. The story of Pip.. of his rise and fall, and ultimate redemption, gives us a clear window into the heart and mind of Dickens himself. The story itself held my interest from beginning to end, had important themes to explore, and despite it's lack of introspection in examining personality issues, made you care about the main characters. I don't think it's great literary art, but I do think it's a great novel.
Marvellous Mar 10, 2008
You just have to read it. I can't beleive that this book was actually written 200 years ago. A tremendous story. Can't wait to read my next Charles Dickens book