Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
"Great Expectations" charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters, ranging from Magwitch - the escaped convict, to Miss Haversham - locked up with her unhappy past, and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. In this compelling story, Dickens shows the dangers of being driven by a desire for wealth and social status. Pip must establish his own sense of self against the plans which others seem to have for him, and thus discover a firm set of values and priorities. Whether such values will allow one to prosper in the complex world of early-Victorian England is, however, the major question posed by "Great Expectations". This edition uses the text of the Clarendon edition, with a new introduction and explanatory notes. The appendices give the original, discarded ending, Dickens's brief working notes, and the serial instalments and chapter divisions in different editions.