Great Expectations A History

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Sometimes books have fascinating histories and I’m always intrigued by what makes an author write what they did.  Great Expectations is one of these types of books.  It is Dickens’ thirteenth novel and only the second one to be written in first person.  it is considered a bildungsroman or a coming of age story.  It was originally published as a serial in Dickens’ All The Year Round.  It ran from December 1860 to August 1861.  In October of 1861 Chapman and Hall published it in three segments.  It was intended to be twice as long but since there were deadlines to meet, it got condensed.  This is something that has not escaped the view of critics and readers alike, it is viewed as one of Dickens’ most concise novels.  It was written at a time of Dickens’ peak maturity as a writer.  He was a very famous man when he was the author of this novel and already deeply involved in an adulterous affair with a much younger actress.  Also, the ending was revised.  Most books today print both endings for their readers.  The book was initially met with mixed reviews and was one of the few books of Dickens that took some time to find a devoted audience.

So far, I am intrigued by the book but I’m not sure if I am loving it yet.  I do adore a good coming of age story and Dickens has such a fantastic way of writing.  I would think his rhythm would be something like a dirge, slow and almost melancholy.

Challenge chapters: 3&4

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