In the marshy mists of a village churchyard, atiny orphan boy named Pip is suddenly terrified by ashivering, limping convict on the run. Yearslater, a supremely arrogant young Pip boards the coachto London where, by the grace of a mysteriousbenefactor, he will join the ranks of the idle richand "become a gentleman." Finally, in theluminous mists of the village at evening, Pip theman meets Estella, his dazzingly beautifultormentor, in a ruined garden--and lays to rest all theheartaches and illusions that his "greatexpectations" have brought upon him. Dickens'sbiographer, Edgar H. Johnson, has said that--exceptfor the author's last-minute tampering with hisoriginal ending--"Great Expectations"is "the most perfectly constructed andperfectly written of all Dickens's works." In JohnIrving's Introduction to this edition, thenovelist takes the view that Dickens's revised ending is"far more that mirror of the quality of trust inthe novel as a whole." Both versions of theending are printed here.
About the Author
Arguably one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens is the author of such literary masterpieces as A Tale of Two Cities (1859), A Christmas Carol (1843), David Copperfield (1850), and The Adventures of Oliver Twist (1839), among many others. Dickens' s indelible characters and timeless stories continue to resonate with readers around the world more than 130 years after his death. Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870.
John Irving is the author of numerous novels for adults, including "A Widow for One Year, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany," and "The World According to Garp," He lives in Vermont and Toronto.
"No story in the first person was ever better told."