Written by Charles Dickens
Published by Penquin Classics 2003, paperback, 484 pages with 30 pages of notes and appendixes.
One of Charles Dickens’s most fascinating novels, Great Expectations follows the orphan Pip as he leaves behind a childhood of misery and poverty after an anonymous benefactor offers him a chance at the life of a gentleman.
From young Pip’s first terrifying encounter with the convict Magwitch in the gloom of a graveyard to the splendidly morbid set pieces in Miss Havisham’s mansion to the magnificently realized boat chase down the Thames, the novel is filled with the transcendent excitement that Dickens could so abundantly provide. Written in 1860 at the height of his maturity, it also reveals the novelist’s bittersweet understanding of the extent to which our deepest moral dilemmas are born of our own obsessions and illusions.