Great Expectations

Sunday 15th April

Ah, what a book, what a great story and a great title.  I saw it on telly as a young boy and was fascinated by Miss Havisham, and the house with the rats and spiders webs and her still in her wedding dress.  What an incredible character.  I suppose I identified with little Pip, who had a secret benefactor.  And I always harboured the dream that I would also inherit from a secret relative or whoever.  This was re-enforced by my believing my parents weren’t mine.  I also had a rich Godmother, Mrs. Burns, who I suspected might leave me a fortune.  She didn’t – so it goes.

My Nana had a set of Dickens books kept in the front parlour.  She allowed me to read them.  I read Oliver and David Copperfield and Great Expectations (mainly because they had all been serialised on the telly).  I am now re-reading the whole of Dickens on kindle, and (mostly) enjoying them.  I have just finished Great Expectations, one of his later novels, and it really is wonderful.  He had matured as a writer and the story is really quite subtle, the characters are all multi-faceted; he still sets up impossible co-incidences, but the character of Pip is written really from the viewpoint of the anti-hero – he really is quite unpleasant for much of the book.  The moral being that riches and the desire to become a ‘gentleman’ has corrupted the innocence of the simple poor country boy.

I finished the book a few days ago and I am missing it.  Always a sign of a great book.