By Charles Dickens
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143126454, 464pp.)
Publication Date: October 23, 2013
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Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and starring Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, and Jeremy Irvine as Pip
A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor-these form a series of events that change the orphan Pip's life forever, as he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his great expectations. Published nine years before Dickens's death, it remains one of his most celebrated works.
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.