One of Dickens's greatest novels, Great Expectations
is also one of his most autobiographical stories. The young protagonist Pip escapes from his troubled childhood experiences to learn for himself the perils of love, the dangers of wealth, and how to sort his friends from his enemies. Just as Dickens never quite recovered from the traumas of the debtor's prison and child labour, so Pip learns that his early life cut more deeply than he realized, with unavoidable consequences.
Through the lives of its unforgettable characters - Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, Estella - Great Expectations charts the course of an England undergoing rapid social and economic change, and tells a tale that is among the foremost classics of the English language.
'All his characters are my personal friends – I am constantly comparing
them with living persons, and living persons with them.' Leo Tolstoy
'This was the author’s last great work, the defects in it are as nearly
imperceptible as spots on the sun or shadows on a
sunlit sea.' Algernon Swinburne
'Dickens’s figures belong to poetry, like figures of Dante or
Shakespeare, in that a single phrase, either by them or about them, may
be enough to set them wholly before us.' T.S. Eliot
Read an excerpt from Great Expectations
By the same author: