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Great Expectations


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John Forster (1812—1876) writer and literary adviser

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A novel by Dickens, which first appeared in All the Year Round 1860–61, published in book form 1861.

It recounts the development of the character of the narrator, Philip Pirrip, commonly known as ‘Pip’, a village boy brought up by his termagant sister, the wife of the gentle, humorous, kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery. He is introduced to the house of Miss Havisham, a lady half‐crazed by the desertion of her lover on her bridal night, who, in a spirit of revenge, has brought up the girl Estella to use her beauty as a means of torturing men. Pip falls in love with Estella, and aspires to become a gentleman. Money and expectations of more wealth come to him from a mysterious source. He goes to London, and meanly abandons the devoted Joe Gargery. Misfortunes come upon him. His benefactor proves to be an escaped convict, Abel Magwitch, whom he, as a boy, had helped; his great expectations fade away and he is penniless. Estella marries his sulky enemy Bentley Drummle, by whom she is cruelly ill‐treated. Taught by adversity, Pip returns to Joe Gargery and honest labour, and is finally reunited to Estella who has also learnt her lesson. Other notable characters in the book are Joe's uncle, the impudent old impostor Pumblechook; Jaggers, the skilful Old Bailey lawyer, and his good‐hearted clerk Wemmick; and Pip's friend in London, Herbert Pocket.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).


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Authors

Charles Dickens (1812—1870) novelist


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