Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Published by Shine Classics, Wordsworth on January 1st 1970
ISBN: 1853260045
Genres: Classic Fiction
Pages: 423

Format: Audiobook, e-Book, Paperback
Source: Purchased

Considered by many to be Dickens' finest novel, Great Expectations traces the growth of the book's narrator, Philip Pirrip (Pip), from a boy of shallow dreams to a man with depth of character. From its famous dramatic opening on the bleak Kentish marshes, the story abounds with some of Dickens' most memorable characters. Among them are the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery, the mysterious convict Abel Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Haversham and her beautiful ward Estella, Pip's good-hearted room-mate Herbert Pocket and the pompous Pumblechook. As Pip unravels the truth behind his own 'great expectations' in his quest to become a gentleman, the mysteries of the past and the convolutions of fate through a series of thrilling adventures serve to steer him towards maturity and his most important discovery of all - the truth about himself.
With an Introduction and Notes by John Bowen, Keele University.Illustrations by Marcus Stone

If Charles Dickens was still alive he would be 205 today! I wonder what he would think of our bookish world now?  Dickens wrote his books in serial form, and was paid by the word.  It’s always been something that irked me because obviously the more words the more money and I think sometimes (more than sometimes actually) he could have done with a really good editor.  I remember when I had to read Dombey and Son for uni so I went to the bookshop and there was this HUGE book that was nearly 1200 pages!   And I kept thinking, how much smaller this book would be with a good editor lol

Anyway, he has written so many of our best loved and well known stories, and probably all of them have made it to TV and movies at one time or other, but I think my favourite has to be Great Expectations – and it’s quite a normal size too, which is always a bonus!  There’s a lot of great characters in the book, and a lot of gothic influences – Magwitch, definitely menacing – Miss Havisham, creepy and malicious – plus the creepy decaying old mansion she lived in and several scenes in graveyards and other creepy places.  And then there is the love story between Pip and Estella, as you are willing it to work out for them, and of course the story of Pip’s great expectations which are made possible by a mysterious benefactor (which he gets totally wrong of course!)

As you know, I made candles, and so I had to create a Dickens candle to celebrate his birthday, but not with the usual cake that you might expect – I give you Miss Havisham’s Cake candle!  In truth, I always felt a bit sorry for her, jilted, defrauded bride, and a vengeful old biddy to boot, but I always saw her as quite a tragic character.  She never got over being jilted and so  she was quite bitter and twisted by her own life experiences, and caused a lot of trouble, I always felt kind of sorry for her and so I think she deserved a better cake! .