Complete and unabridged, this elegantly designed hardcover edition of Great Expectations features vibrant endpapers, an introduction by Grace Moore, and a timeline of the life and times of Charles Dickens.Set in Victorian London, Great Expectations is the cautionary tale of a young man raised high above his station by a mysterious benefactor. Its remarkable characters and compelling story about wealth and poverty, crime and social anxiety, and the bitterness of unrequited love are as relevant today as when the novel was first serialized in 1860–1861.
Charles Dickens’s tale begins with young, orphaned Philip Pirrip, “Pip,” running afoul of an escaped convict in a cemetery. This terrifying personage bullies Pip into stealing food and a file to remove his ankle shackle. The boy does as he’s asked, but the convict is captured anyway and transported to the penal colonies in Australia.
Having started his novel in a cemetery, Dickens then ups the stakes and introduces his hero into the decaying household of Miss Havisham, a wealthy, reclusive, half-mad woman who had been left at the altar many years ago, but was still clad in her wedding gown, now faded and yellow. Pip is brought there to play with Miss Havisham’s ward, Estella, a cruel and beautiful little girl who delights in tormenting Pip about his coarse hands and future as a blacksmith’s apprentice. This arrangement sets the pair on a course that will forever change their lives.