Great Expectations

ISBN-10: 0199219761
ISBN-13: 9780199219766
Edition: 2nd 2008
List price: $9.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Perhaps Dickens's best-loved work, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a young man with few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefactor allows him to escape the Kent marshes for a more promising life in London. Despite his good  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/10/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Perhaps Dickens's best-loved work, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a young man with few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefactor allows him to escape the Kent marshes for a more promising life in London. Despite his good fortune, Pip is haunted by figures from his past--the escaped convict Magwitch, the time-withered Miss Havisham, and her proud and beautiful ward, Estella--and in time uncovers not just the origins of his great expectations but the mystery of his own heart. A powerful and moving novel, Great Expectations is suffused with Dickens's memories of the past and its grip on the present, and it raises disturbing questions about the extent to which individuals affect each other's lives. This edition reprints the definitive Clarendon text. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst's new introduction ranges widely across critical issues raised by the novel: its biographical genesis, ideas of origin and progress and what makes a "gentleman," memory, melodrama, and the book's critical reception. The book includes four appendices and the fullest set of critical notes in any mass-market edition.

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

Margaret Cardwell, Formerly Reader in English at the Queen's University, Belfast. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Fellow and Tutor in English, Magdalen College, Oxford.

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst was born in 1968 and lives in Oxford, where he is a Fellow and Tutor in English at Magdalen College. His most recent book, Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist, won the Duff Cooper Prize for Biography.

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