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.