‘In the little world in which children have their existence, whosever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice’ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Pip’s life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His efforts to become a London gentleman bring him into contact not just with the upper classes but also with dangerous criminals. His desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.
“He's a marvellous writer... He's very, very good”
“A story of the traumas of sex and class. My favourite moment is the one where Magwitch makes his stumbling way up the shadowy staircase towards an unnerved but unsuspecting Pip: the halting but inexorable rise of the repressed 'from the darkness beneath'”
“This was the author's last great work, the defects in it are as nearly imperceptible as spots on the sun or shadows on a sunlit sea”
Algernon Charles Swinburne
“I would always prefer to go get another Dickens off the shelf than pick up a new book by someone I've not read yet... I love the tradition of Dickens, where even the most minor walk-on characters are twitching and particular and alive”
“There is no one Dickens novel I could pick over all the others. Dickens is huge-like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and it's immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer-or any combination of these”