Great Expectations

By Charles Dickens
(Bantam Classics, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553213423, 560pp.)

Publication Date: August 1, 1982

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Description

In the marshy mists of a village churchyard, a  tiny orphan boy named Pip is suddenly terrified by a  shivering, limping convict on the run. Years  later, a supremely arrogant young Pip boards the coach  to London where, by the grace of a mysterious  benefactor, he will join the ranks of the idle rich  and "become a gentleman." Finally, in the  luminous mists of the village at evening, Pip the  man meets Estella, his dazzingly beautiful  tormentor, in a ruined garden--and lays to rest all the  heartaches and illusions that his "great  expectations" have brought upon him. Dickens's  biographer, Edgar H. Johnson, has said that--except  for the author's last-minute tampering with his  original ending--Great Expectations  is "the most perfectly constructed and  perfectly written of all Dickens's works." In John  Irving's Introduction to this edition, the  novelist takes the view that Dickens's revised ending is  "far more that mirror of the quality of trust in  the novel as a whole." Both versions of the  ending are printed here.




About the Author

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was a leading playwright of the twentieth century. His plays include Man and Superman (1905), Major Barbara (1905), Pygmalion (1913), and Saint Joan (1923).




Praise For Great Expectations

"No story in the first person was ever better told."

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