First published serially in All the Year Round in 1860-61, published as a book in 1861, thisnovel was one of Dickens greatest critical and popular successes. It tells of the coming-of-age of Pip (Philip Pirrip), raised in the marshes of Kent by his harsh sister and her good-tempered husband, the blacksmith Joe Gargery. One day the young Pip helps a convict escape.Later sent to live with Miss Havisham, a woman driven half-mad years by being abandoned on her wedding day, he becomes enamored of the orphaned Estella, whom Miss Havisham is teaching to torment men with her beauty.When an anonymous benefactor helps him, Pip assumes it is Miss Havisham. But he is wrong, about that, and a number of other things, and only learns wisdom through loss and pain.
An edition of this novel has been chosen for Oprahs Book Club, together with A Tale of Two Cities.