'you are to understand, Mr. Pip, that the name of the person who is your liberal benefactor remains a profound secret...' Young Pip lives with his sister and her husband the blacksmith, with few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefaction takes him from the Kent marshes to London. Pip is haunted by figures from his past - the escaped convict Magwitch, the time-withered Miss Havisham and her proud and beautiful ward, Estella - and in time uncovers not just the origins of his great expectations but the mystery of his own heart. A powerful and moving novel, Great Expectations is suffused with Dickens's memories of the past and its grip on the present, and it raises disturbing questions about the extent to which individuals affect each other's lives. This edition includes a lively introduction, Dickens's working notes, the novel's original ending, and an extract from an early theatrical adaptation. It reprints the definitive Clarendon text. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.