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(03/18/2008) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. New York. 1985. Penguin Books. Edited By Angus Calder. keywords: Literature England 19th century. 512 pages. The cover shows a detail from 'A Country Blacksmith Disputing the Price of Iron' by J. M. W. Turner. 0140430032.

My favorite Dickens novel.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The central theme of GREAT EXPECTATIONS- How do men know who they are? - is one that preoccupied Dickens towards the end of his life. The story of orphan Pip and the mysterious fortune which falls into his lap, his snobbish rejection of his old friends and his growth through pain and mishap into true maturity is the basis for a story where violence and guilt jostle with sharp and grotesque comedy. From the moment the child Pip meets Magwitch the convict on the eerie Kent marshes, to the last encounter with Estella, the beautiful, heartless woman who has so fruitlessly haunted Pip’s emotions, the reader is sucked into a drama whose moral and psychological intensity never slackens. Comic, tragic, vital, full of bitter pathos and haunting memories of childhood fairytales with an added twist, GREAT EXPECTATIONS is a novel which, as Graham Greene comments, is full of secret prose giving us ‘the sense of a mind speaking to itself with no one to listen.'

 

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