Great Expectations

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From the agony of Charles Dickens’ disenchantment with the Victorian middle class comes a novel of spellbinding mystery and a profound examination of moral values.

An orphan living with his older sister and her kindly husband, Pip is hired by wealthy and embittered Miss Havisham as a companion for her and her beautiful adopted daughter, Estella. His years in service to the Havishams fill his heart with the desire to rise above his station in life. Pip’s wish is fulfilled when a mysterious benefactor provides him with “great expectations”—the means to be tutored as a gentleman.

Thrust into London’s high-society circles, Pip grows accustomed to a life of leisure, only to find himself lacking as a suitor competing for Estella’s favor. After callously discarding everything he once valued for his own selfish pursuits, Pip learns the identity of his patron—a revelation that shatters his very soul.

With an Introduction by Stanley Weintraub
and an Afterword by Annabel Davis-Goff


 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 1, 1998
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Pages
528
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ISBN
9781101213025
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Historical / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.

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`I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD,' wrote Dickens of what is the most personal, certainly one of the most popular, of all his novels. Dickens wrote the book after the completion of a fragment of autobiography recalling his employment as a child in a London warehouse, and in the first-person narrative, a new departure for him, realized marvellously the workings of memory. The embodiment of his boyhood experience in the novel involved a `complicated interweaving of truth and fiction', at its most subtle in the portrait of his father as Mr Micawber, one of Dickens's greatest comic creations. Enjoying a humour that never becomes caricature, the reader shares David's affection for the eccentric Betsey Trotwood and her protégé Mr Dick, and smiles with the narrator at the trials he endures in his love for the delightfully silly Dora. Settings, (East Anglia, the London of the 1820s), people, and events are unified by their relationship to the story of Steerforth's treachery, which reaches its powerful climax in the storm scene. This edition, which has the accurate Clarendon text, includes Dickens's trial titles and working notes, and eight of the original illustrations by `Phiz'. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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