Great Expectations (Everyman's Library Series)

Great Expectations (Everyman's Library Series)

Hardcover

$23.40 $26.00 Save 10% Current price is $23.4, Original price is $26. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, October 22

Overview

One of Charles Dickens’s most fascinating novels, Great Expectations follows the orphan Pip as he leaves behind a childhood of misery and poverty after an anonymous benefactor offers him a chance at the life of a gentleman.

From the young Pip’s first terrifying encounter with the convict Magwitch in the gloom of a graveyard to the splendidly morbid set pieces in Miss Havisham’s mansion to the magnificently realized boat chase down the Thames, Great Expectations is filled with the transcendent excitement that Dickens could so abundantly provide.

Written in 1860, at the height of his maturity, it also reveals the novelist’s bittersweet understanding of the extent to which our deepest moral dilemmas are born of our own obsessions and illusions.

This edition includes Dickens’s original, discarded conclusion to the novel, the 1907 Everyman preface by G. K. Chesterton, and twenty illustrations by F. W. Pailthorpe.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679405795
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/10/1992
Series: Everyman's Library , #56
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 790,991
Product dimensions: 5.24(w) x 8.29(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city–cold, isolated with barely enough to eat–haunted him for the rest of his life.

When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) complete his major works.

Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Education:

Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I.

My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than
Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister – Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,"
I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine – who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle – I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state of existence.

Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within as the river wound,
twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip
Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and
Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes;
and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was
Pip.

"Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. "Keep still, you little devil,
or I'll cut your throat!"

A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A
man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.

"Oh! Don't cut my throat, sir," I pleaded in terror. "Pray don't do it,
sir."

"Tell us your name!" said the man. "Quick!"

"Pip, sir."

"Once more," said the man, staring at me. "Give it mouth!"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Great Expectations 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 804 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an eighth grader, I don't understand why some teens dislike this novel. Is it just because it's a bit longer than we are used to? For me, it is an outstanding classic. Pip faces problems that we still face today-our high expectations, our unsatisfying results. Admittedly, the novel is a bit long, but without the text it holds, we would never be able to truly grasp the theme Charles Dickens is trying to convey. Each detail, each scene, each chapter adds more to our understanding. I feel like I am there with Pip as the story progresses. The length of the book plays a key point in the novel, for it leads the reader through Pip's life, the good and the bad. Reading the book carefully allows the reader to really understand what Pip has been through, and how he compensates. This novel is a stunning classic, and will remain my favorite book.
littlered14 More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations was required reading material in high school back in the 1980's. And as a result has become one of my all time favorite classic works by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was such an excellent writer that he made the charaters come to life. This is one of those classics that you absolutely cannot put it down until you have finished it. As you start reading Great Expectations you feel like you are accompanying Pip on his journey through life. With the sounds, sights, and smells. Experienceing the ups and downs, that life has to offer. For instance lifes's humble beginnings, the twists and turns, and a very humgle ending.Starting life as he did Pip was not happy with his beginnings in life and always wanting more. From meeting unstable individuals in the prohibited marshes while playing, manners being tought from an old, rich, bitter woman, to the most unlikey of unnamed benifactors that you are likely to meet. To be making a move to London to go to school, being able to make friends with influentual individuals and experiencing who they live, and some people that are even simple in how they view life and just trying to get by as best they can. Pip did a wonderful very unselfish thing when he anominoulsy helped a friend reach his life long goals, for instance becoming part owner of a business, marrying the one he loves and having family. Which in the real world would never happen. The ending, I thought could have been left on a better note than it was. Great Expectations is a good book for the old addage "Be careful what you wish for". The out come of such wishes may or may not be what you expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in the eighth grade, and, upon reading the first line, I feel in love. I have always loved reading, and Charles Dickens never fails to entertain. He creates characters so life-like and real that you feel like you have known them all you life. You can really identify with these characters that are so abstract and complicated, yet so simple and heart-warming. Pip is such a dynamic character,and you really feel for him as he falls in love for the first time and tries to live up to the Great Expectations set for him. I love it.
DiBeth More than 1 year ago
Although the STORY itself is a great classic, this free version has formatting problems that made it difficult for me to follow along, even as my daughter read aloud from a print copy. After a few pages, I went back online and paid 99 cents- and now can actually read the book!
Kobra101 More than 1 year ago
It is an exceptional book. Charles Dickens uses the words as if he were a dictionary. Excellent control of superb words. It is amzaing how the rising action and falling action happens.
Poge More than 1 year ago
Not even going to write a real review im just going to list reasons why its is the best piece of Literature on God's green earth 1. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth 2. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth 3. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth Go buy it unless you are a total commy
Sakr More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written novel absolutely deserves its place as one of the crown jewels of Dickens' many works. It is very smoothly written however is somewhat dense and is therefore required to be read rather slowly to be digested properly. I would only recommend this book to those whom I know have the intellectual capability and the stamina to keep up with this rigorous work. Overall stupendous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm currently a senior, and while I was not required to read this book, I had enjoyed Tale of Two cities by Charles Dickens, and had heard good things about Great Expectations from my father and a good friend. Many classics, while great books, don't always hook me and draw me in. This book did. Many are of the opinion that this book is very dark and brooding. It is a story with many dark and gritty elements to it, but when I read it, I didn't get the sense that the mood was dark and sober just for the sake of it. Rather I think Dickens was portraying just how harsh the world can be, and the corruption and selfishness that many people possess in pursuit of riches, property and status. In many ways, the journey of Pip reflects a story almost the same as that of the prodigal son. It's about a young man who feels restless and discontent with how life is, and feels that the pursuit of a greater life, status and riches are needed in order to gain happiness, and the woman he loves. Yet in the end, after all his expectations vanish into thin air and he's left worse than he was before, it's the family that he left in the pursuit of his expectations that pay his debts, and receive him with the same love they had for him before. Another side to this story that gripped me was his relationship with Miss Havisham and Estella. Miss Havisham is the living result of just how deeply a human heart can be hurt and broken by the cruelty of someone who they thought loved them, and how when we hold on to that hurt and brokenness, never forgetting or forgiving it ends up destroying us, and even more tragic cause us to hurt others in the same way. Which is what Miss Havisham does to Estella by raising her and teaching her to be a heartless woman who does not even comprehend love, and what Estella does to Pip by rejecting him and using him. Yet what amazed me most is even when Pip had every reason to rage and be consumed by anger and bitterness against Estella, he never stopped loving her, and resolved to remember her well even though she had thrown away his love. And even though Miss Havisham is responsible for Estella's heartlessness and now in a way his own heart being broken, he chooses to forgive her. Just the raw strength of this story left me amazed. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To enter Honors English, i was required to read Great Expectations. My first thought, and the thought of many other teens, was oh great, a lengthy book using old English vocabulary But i was surprised, i actually enjoyed it. It does get weak in some parts, but its a great piece of Literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After a couple of chapters, you might begin to feel disappointed and want to quit reading it. Don't! You will be amazed at the suspense you feel and how interested you are in the characters. I also thought it was so clever how Dickens tied everything together, in little ways that you'd never have thought of. When I finished reading, I felt satisfied. I recommend this book.
MullyJS More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations is truly a masterpiece. Dickens has given the reader the life of Pip, a poor boy of no real expectations until chance affords him the opportunity to become someone of means. Dickens has created a character of such great depth that I grew to love the man Pip. Pip’s growth, his ability to convey feeling and his own acceptance of weakness in himself and others touched my heart. Yes it is a slow read but don't be discouraged. It's a treasure. When I recommend the Nook to anyone I always give as one reason the classics. Reading the classics on a Nook is much easier with the flexibility to change the font and the small size of the Nook itself leaving the reader less overwhelmed.
Haharyne More than 1 year ago
If you start reading this book and realize that there is a lot that could be cut out of it then you will probably enjoy it more. When I first started reading this book I couldn't believe how boring it was. Once I started getting into it, however, my opinion changed entirely. I didn't want to stop reading. Then there were some more dry chapters and I couldn't maintain interest. Then this book suddenly made me think I had been reading a mystery the whole time. It brought back details I didn't even think about. Everything came together and ended so well I could not believe how fantastic it was. I would highly recommend this book if you are willing to be bored through certain chapters.
ExTwilightFanpire More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed htis much more than Oliver Twist! The characters were complex and facsinating! One thing is it's not the kind of book you can just pick up and read a page. It doesn't just pull you in, you have to focus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great classic which everyone should read.
HeatherM427 More than 1 year ago
This book was forced upon me as summer reading. I struggled throught it. I had to reference to spark notes and the movie (something I NEVER do). But after I could get throught the writing style and look back on the story and the characters I sort of fell in love with it. So for a free read NO. But as for something analitical an absolute yes!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book really well written. I personally recommend the unabridged version. After you get to understand the was he writes and the old english you will really enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was boring at first but then it got better and better with a bunch of events being thrown at you all at the same time. With every event unexpected you never know whats going to happen next. I reccomend this book to anyone from 3rd grade to 12th that likes the unexpected.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was required to read this in 9th grade english honors, and since then it has become my favorite book of all time. pip is such a classically heartbreaking character, and everyone can find some instance where they can relate to him. i found the unrequited-love theme to be so tragically fascinating. estella's cruelty and superiority complex are so common among people these days, that although the book was written 150+ years ago, everyone can still relate to its classic themes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, was a very wonderful book to read. I have to admit that it was difficult to get into it at first, but once the story started getting good, I couldn¿t put it down. There were so many twists and surprises that kept me completely compelled. I especially liked how the character, Pip, grew and changed throughout the novel. He didn¿t seem like just a character in a story, he seemed like a real live person in my life. His emotions and actions were so realistic that I felt his pain, his joy, his fear. Another aspect of the novel that I loved was the whole theme and basic moral. It harped upon the idea that loyalty to loved ones is way more important than wealth or social status could ever be. Among other things, these are the reasons why Great Expectations is a truly exceptional novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this simply out of curiosity, and expected a long, boring, painful book. I was shocked. This kept me completely interested throughout the whole book, and was surprisingly easy to read. The language was not that hard to figure out, and basically, I was extremely pleased. If you think it'll be long and boring, you may be surprised at how fast you'll get through it.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read many, many books throughout the years, in a wide variety of genres. Periodically, I try to stretch myself by taking on works that I might not otherwise gravitate toward. Sometimes I am rewarded; that is how I discovered Hemingway and Vasily Grossman (much to my delight). However, I generally read for pleasure and will never be considered an erudite literary critic; in other words, you won¿t find me reading Shakespeare. I recall reading A Tale of Two Cities in high school and to my recollection, enjoying it. With that in mind, I was determined to give Charles Dickens another shot, with the knowledge that if it were to my liking, there would be a wealth of material at my disposal. That is how I came to read Great Expectations.The novel centers on young Pip, an orphan taken in by his domineering older sister and kind, blacksmith husband. Pip is destined for a life as an apprentice blacksmith, a member of the English lower class, until an encounter with an escaped convict radically changes the course of his life. For you see, young Pip harbors ¿great expectations¿ and a life far beyond that set before him. With the help of an anonymous ¿sponsor¿, Pip begins his journey toward life as a gentleman.When reading Dickens, Tolstoy, and even more so Shakespeare, the first hurdle is becoming familiar with the language, the style of writing and the idioms and terms used by writers of the era; even more so with Dickens, where he routinely spells words phonetically when spoken by Cockney British commoners. Somewhat offputting at first, the reader soon becomes comfortable with the style and is amply rewarded and entertained.Having read numerous novels from the period, I was well familiar with the British class system on the mid-19th century, but nowhere is its rigidity more apparent than in this work. Within days of attaining a sponsor, young Pip completely removes himself from his former friends and relatives (both geographically and socially), even expressing embarrassment for having been associated with them. There are several story threads that work themselves together nicely near the end of the novel.Having become reacquainted with Dickens, I fully expect to sample more of his work.
BookMarkMe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
`Great Expectations¿ has been somewhat of a literary journey of discovery. I started with a mild dislike of Dickens as Pip finds himself contemplating the gravestones of his parents. This stemmed from my one abortive attempt at reading `The Pickwick Papers¿My dislike gently fades as Pip embarks on achieving his great expectations introducing some marvellous characters, in particular, Miss Havisham and Wemmick with his Aged P. By the time I find myself reading the chapter entirely devoted to Pip¿s exploration of his feeling for Estella I found myself, thoroughly enjoying, the language, the plot and the characterisations involved. This book is a delight and will be remembered more so as the highway that led to my final understanding and appreciation of 19th Century language and Dickens' work in particular.
liibooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is about a boy, named Pip, who is raised by his evil sister and Joe her kindhearted husband. They lived in poverty. So when Miss Havisham a rich eccentric woman asks Pip to come to her house just to see him playing and offers some money for it, his family is more than willing to fulfill Miss Havisham¿s wish. She is disillusioned in love; her beautiful stepdaughter, who was raised to break men¿s hearts, is selfish and unable to love anyone. She is a cold-hearted master manipulator. So when Pip sees the girl for the first time he falls in love with her. He doesn¿t hope that she will love him back because he is poor and uneducated, he doesn¿t think he is good enough for her. About the same time there were two escaped convicts from the jail and Pip happens to meet one of them named Magwitch. Pip was frightened after such a meeting and was forced into helping Magwitch to get some food. After Pip helps him, a few days later he finds out that Magwitch is back in jail again. Years later after trying to forget this encounter, an attorney appears at his family¿s house. He introduces himself as the legal representative of a wealthy person who wants to remain anonymous. That person wants to make a gentleman out of Pip, by educate him and leaving him a fortune. Everyone in Pip¿s family is thankful and excited, but wondering who that person could be. The only person they can think of is Miss Havisham, but what a shock when they discover who that person is¿This is quite a thick book, so I needed some time to get the courage to start reading it. I had heard it could be long and boring, but was happy to find it enjoyable and easy to read. I know many people might disagree with me on that, but I think Dickens lovers will appreciate this great novel.
Timothy Chen More than 1 year ago
A conflicted tale of courage, loyalty, and love, Great Expectations is an exemplary novel that succeeds in portraying the innocent but heartfelt story of Pip, an orphaned boy taken in by a blacksmith. Dickens beautifully illustrates Pip’s humble beginning. Pip’s father is Joe, a caring, protective figure over Pip, with his shortcoming being in intelligence and wealth. On the other hand, Mrs. Joe is Pip’s stern and insistent mother, more often than not yelling and bossing around Joe and Pip. These simple yet moving characters set up an environment that really allows you to understand Pip’s background. With several different events, Pip’s character is established to be weak and pusillanimous at the start. For example, “The terrors that had assailed me whenever Mrs. Joe had gone near the pantry, or out of the room, were only to be equalled by the remorse with which my mind dwelt on what my hands had done.” Pip clearly is very fearful of his mother Mrs. Joe in this situation, one of which happens to be over stolen food. From this, Dickens wonderfully portrays Pip’s growth over time, slowly breaking out of his cowardly shell. The first major plot point in the book is Pip being brought before Mrs. Havisham, a wealthy elderly lady, to ‘play’ with her step-daughter Estella. From being raised by Mrs. Havisham, Estella has had hammered into to her to have men fall for her and break their hearts. Pip, unfortunately, immediately falls in love, but it is clear he is far from reaching her. Estella is quick to insult Pip about his coarse hands and thick boots, showing to Pip the difference between her and him. Pip feels ashamed of his ‘commoner’ background, but also afraid turn away from his family and who he has grown up as. In the end, Pip makes the bold decision to become a gentleman. Gracefully written, Dickens introduces an incredibly convincing character that plays an impacting role in the story as well as While the book is relatively long, Dickens does not let a page go to waste. From what seemed to be an insignificant encounter with a prison escapee turns out to come a long way, the character revealing himself as the one who had been anonymously sending money to Pip. To even further tie things together, he also turns out to be the wife of Molly, the maid of Jaggers( Pip’s guardian) and Estella’s true mother. While it seems it may be difficult to pull together such an intricate array of characters, Dickens manages to create both a believable story and pour depth into these characters. Excelling in telling the grand narrative of the struggles of a boy raised from an unrefined background as well as fleshing out minor experiences with individual characters of the book, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a book well deserving of its place as a classic in literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author came out on an episode of Doctor Who!!!