Great Expectations

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This Norton Critical Edition, edited by the pioneer of Great Expectations scholarship, presents the most thorough textual edition of the novel available.

“Backgrounds” provides readers with an understanding of Great Expectations‘s inception and internal chronology.  A discussion of the public-reading version of the novel is also included.  A wonderfully rich “Contexts” section collects thirteen pieces, centering on the novel’s major themes: the link between author and hero and, relatedly, Victorian notions of gentility, snobbishness, and social mobility; the often brutal training, at home and at school, of children born around 1800; and the central issues of crime and punishment.

“Criticism” gathers twenty-two assessments of Great Expectations, both contemporary and modern, which offer a range of perspectives on Dickens and his novel.

Pages: 750

Pages: 750



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This Norton Critical Edition is our top choice for an edition of Great Expectations! There are 750 pages, although the actual text occupies only about 300 of those. The rest consists of textual notes, background information, and critical reviews. Highly recommended!

  • Lucerna Academy families: Use this book for 4 weeks in British Literature and it is an option for Year 3 Honors Rhetoric Literature students to use for their literary analysis presentation.
  • Tapestry of Grace families: This is an excellent choice for those also completing a Classical Comparison Paper or other writing assignments for literature. Read for 4 weeks for the literature assignment, but use for many more for writing assignments or outside reading!


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