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Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Wordsworth Classics
  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; 2nd Printing edition (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260049
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"No story in the first person was ever better told." --From the Trade Paperback edition

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England,where his father was a naval pay clerk. He received some education at a small private school but this was curtailed when his father's fortunes declined. More significant was his childhood reading, which he evoked in a memory of his father's library: 'From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, The Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas and Robinson Crusoe came out, a glorious host, to keep me company. They kept alive my fancy, and my hope of something beyond that place and time.'

When Dickens was ten the family moved to Camden Town, and this proved the beginning of a long, difficult period. When he had just turned twelve Dickens was sent to work for a manufacturer of boot blacking, where for the better part of a year he labored for ten hours a day, an unhappy experience that instilled him with a sense of having been abandoned by his family. Around the same time Dickens's father was jailed for debt in the Marshalsea Prison, where he remained for fourteen weeks. After some additional schooling, Dickens worked as a clerk in a law office and taught himself shorthand; this qualified him to begin working in 1831 as a reporter in the House of Commons, where he was known for the speed with which he took down speeches.

By 1833 Dickens was publishing humorous sketches of London life in the Monthly Magazine, which were collected in book form as Sketches by 'Boz' (1836). These were followed by the publication in instalments of the comic adventures that became The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1837), whose unprecedented popularity made the twenty-five-year-old author a national figure. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth, who would bear him ten children over a period of fifteen years. Dickens characteristically wrote his novels for serial publication, and was himself the editor of many of the periodicals in which they appeared. Among his close associates were his future biographer John Forster and the younger Wilkie Collins, with whom he collaborated on fictional and dramatic works. In rapid succession he published Oliver Twist (1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1841), and Barnaby Rudge (1841), sometimes working on several novels simultaneously.

The appearance of A Christmas Carol in 1843 sealed his position as the most widely popular writer of his time; it became an annual tradition for him to write a story for the season. He continued to produce novels at only a slightly diminished rate, publishing Dombey and Son in 1848 and David Copperfield in 1850, his personal favorite among his books.

From this point on his novels tended to be more elaborately constructed and harsher and less buoyant in tone than his earlier works. These late novels include Bleak House (1853), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1861). Our Mutual Friend, published in 1865, was his last completed novel, and perhaps the most somber and savage of them all. Dickens had separated from his wife in 1858. He had become involved a year earlier with a young actress named Ellen Ternan and the ensuing scandal had alienated him from many of his former associates and admirers. He was weakened by years of overwork and by a near-fatal railroad disaster during the writing of Our Mutual Friend. Nevertheless he embarked on a series of public readings, including a return visit to America in 1867, which further eroded his health. A final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a crime novel much influenced by Wilkie Collins, was left unfinished upon his death on June 9,1870, at the age of 58.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The way Dickens' has woven this message in his unforgettable story makes the book all the more beautiful.
Misha
I haven't read Dickens' book "Great Expectations" in years, so I'm eagerly waiting for the time needed to start moving through it.
CH
I would rank it with A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield among the very best novels of the worlds greatest novelist.
Linda Linguvic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've never read any Dickens of my own free will. I was forced to read "A Tale of Two Cities" in high school and I thought that was enough for me. However, one day, on a whim, I bought a copy of Great Expectations. I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly didn't expect to love it as much as I did.
Dickens is not a writer to read at a swift pace. Indeed, this novel was written in weekly episodes from December 1860 to August 1861 and, as it was created to be a serial, each installment is full of varied characters, great descriptions and a lot of action which moves the plot along and leaves the reader yearning for more. Therefore, unlike some books which are easily forgotten if I put them down for a few days, Great Expectations seemed to stick around, absorbing my thoughts in a way that I looked forward to picking it up again. It took me more than a month to read and I savored every morsel.
Basically the story is of the self-development of Pip, an orphan boy being raised by his sister and her blacksmith husband in the marshlands of England in 1820.
Every one of the characters were so deeply developed that I felt I was personally acquainted with each one of them. There was Pip's roommate, Herbert Pocket, the lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, and his clerk, Mr. Wemmick. And then there was the wicked Orlick. The dialogues were wonderful. The characters often didn't actually say what they meant but spoke in a way that even though the words might be obtuse, there was no mistaking their meaning. I found myself smiling at all these verbal contortions.
Dickens' work is richly detailed and he explores the nuances of human behavior. I enjoyed wallowing in the long sentences and letting myself travel backwards in time to a different world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misha on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
`Great Expectations' is one of my favourite Charles Dickens', second only to A Tale of Two Cities. Those who are not habituated to his style of writing may find it a bit difficult, but eventually that hurdle too would be overcome and the reader can enjoy the work of one of the finest authors of all time to its fullest.

Phillip Pirrip was an orphan living with his dominating elder sister with no great ambition for the future, other than to become a blacksmith like his brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. But that was before he inherited a large amount of money from a mysterious benefactor. Now, leaving behind his shallow ambitions and old acquaintances, Pip follows his dream of becoming a `gentleman'. Then maybe the beautiful but cold-hearted, Estella, the ward of the eccentric Miss Havisham, would accept his love for her. But will the unsolved mysteries of his past hinder him from fulfilling his `Great Expectations'?

Though Great Expectations first appeared in Dickens' weekly magazine, All the Year Round, more than a century back the story and the characters of the book still live on. Like all other books by Charles Dickens `Great Expectations' too, does not just tell a story but also gives a message to its readers. Pip after coming into his inheritance starts ignoring his old friends because he feels that they are inferior to him, little realizing that they were the ones who loved and cared for him when he had no money. This situation is not something unique or something that can be related to only by the people of that time. This happens with almost every one of us. Once we achieve our goals we conveniently forget about those who helped us reach that goal. The way Dickens' has woven this message in his unforgettable story makes the book all the more beautiful.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tammy on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I have to admit in the beginning it was a bit of a chore to get "into" it but once I did I was just swept away. I especially loved the characters in it. I found myself putting the book down to tell my husband how mad I was at Pip. Joe, Estella, Abel Magwitch, Mr.Jaggers and of course Miss Haversham are unforgettable! A great book once you give it a fair chance. I am so glad that I stuck to it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read Dickens' book "Great Expectations" in years, so I'm eagerly waiting for the time needed to start moving through it. What fun! And the Wordsworth Classics books I bought are excellent in every way.
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By Cecilia on September 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
perfect!
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