Cover image for Great expectations : authoritative text, backgrounds, contexts, criticism
Title:
Great expectations : authoritative text, backgrounds, contexts, criticism
Author:
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Norton, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xxvi, 748 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780393960693
Format :
Book

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PR4560 .A1 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

The newly established text is based on all extant materials and is accompanied by several textual essays."Backgrounds" provides readers with an understanding of Great Expectations's inception and internal chronology.nbsp; A discussion of the public-reading version of the novel is also included.nbsp; A wonderfully rich "Contexts" section collects thirteen pieces, centering on the novel's major themes: the link between author and hero and, relatedly, Victorian notions of gentility, snobbishness, and social mobility; the often brutal training, at home and at school, of children born around 1800; and the central issues of crime and punishment."Criticism" gathers twenty-two assessments of Great Expectations, both contemporary and modern, which offer a range of perspectives on Dickens and his novel.


Author Notes

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s.

His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Many baby boomers got their first taste of great literature from a Classics Illustrated comic. This volume in the relaunched line introduces readers to Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, the story of a young man's search for acceptance after receiving riches from a mysterious benefactor. With a book as long as Dickens' classic, it's natural that the comic is text heavy, but even so, it's astonishing how well adaptor and illustrator Geary hits the high points of the serpentine story. The art captures the drama (and don't miss the beautiful endpapers), though for those who know the story, Miss Havisham is drawn more coarsely than one might wish. Use this as a gateway to the classic; it may also be the only chance some kids get to meet Dickens' fascinating characters. Either way, readers will come away understanding why the story has endured. An updated profile of Geary, and a note from the editor of the original series complete the new harcover package.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This beloved classic from Dickens follows the life and adventures of a six-year-old orphan named Pip as he makes his way and comes of age in 19th-century England. Simon Prebble turns in a solid performance in this audio edition, offering up a lush and resolutely dramatic reading and creating a panoply of unique voices and accents for the book's many characters. But while Prebble's performance is lavish, it fails to distinguish itself from the scores of previous audio productions of Dickens's novels. Still, his reading remains a pleasure and a well-orchestrated introduction to the world of Dickens-one that could serve as a wonderful opportunity for both fans and those new to the author's work. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Expertly narrated by Simon Vance, with a PDF copy of the book included on the first disc. Great Expectations also won an Audie in 2010 for classic and solo narration male (Audio Connoisseur, narrated by Charlton Griffin), but that edition will likely be more difficult for libraries to acquire. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Great Expectations is the better told of these two classics, but breaking down a 500-page work of literary fiction into 48 pages of graphic text is a much simpler task than retelling the nearly 1000 pages of David Copperfield in the same amount of space, and Morley relies heavily on captions, rather than dialogue, to summarize Copperfield's complicated life story. She does, however, do an able job of summarizing the major plot points, and this could make a big difference for struggling readers. In both books, Gelev's artwork fits the time period, with detailed costumes, houses, and other background scenery. The neutral tones suit Dickens's dank world, and Miss Havisham's ramshackle home and crumbling wedding feast are drawn as readers might picture them. It is doubtful, though, that they would return to these books as particular favorites. They are more useful as classroom resources for readers struggling with Dickens's prose than for a general graphic-novel readership.-Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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!" Excerpted from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.