An unknown benefactor provides Philip Pirrip with the chance to escape his poor upbringing. Aspiring to be a gentleman, and encouraged by his expectations of wealth, he abandons his friends and moves to London. His expectations prove to be unfounded however, and he must return home penniless.
I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.' Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encoutering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the excaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. In this compelling story, Dickens shows the dangers of being driven by desire for wealth and social status. Pip must establish his own sense of self against the plans which others seem to have for him, and thus discover a firm set of values and priorities. Whether such values will allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is, however, the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dicken's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels. This edition use the text of the Clarendon edition, with a new Introduction and Explanatory Notes. The Appendices give the original, discarded ending, Dicken's brief working notes, and the serial instalments and chapter divisions in different editions.
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Winner of Rose Mary Crawshay Prize 1994 Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003 Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 21 2003 Short-listed for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
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