The Manuscript of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
From the Townshend Collection, Wisbech (Cambridge Library Collection - Literary Studies)

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The novels of Charles Dickens (1812-70), with their inimitable energy and their comic, tragic and grotesque characters, are still widely read, and reworked for film and television. Dickens himself had the original manuscripts of his works bound and presented them to his friends: that of Great Expectations was given to Chauncy Hare Townshend, with whom Dickens shared an interest in mesmerism and the occult. Townshend bequeathed his library (and collection of paintings and ceramics) to the Wisbech and Fenland Museum in 1868. The manuscript has now been scanned and is published in the Cambridge Library Collection together with reissues of the serialized version of 1860-1 and the first book edition of 1861 (in three volumes). Dickens scholars and enthusiasts will be able to examine the work-in-progress, with all its deletions and revisions, alongside the first two published versions.

About Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of England's greatest writers. Best known for his classic serialized novels, such as "Oliver Twist", "A Tale of Two Cities", and "Great Expectations", Dickens wrote about the London he lived in, the conditions of the poor, and the growing tensions between the classes. He achieved critical and popular international success in his lifetime and was honored with burial in Westminster Abbey.
Published December 8, 2011 by Cambridge University Press. 286 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The Guardian

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In the build-up to the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, we'll be exploring the writer's life and relevance today through stories, videos, audio, galleries and more.

Dec 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Manuscript of Great Expec...

The Guardian

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Digested read: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Dec 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Manuscript of Great Expec...

on Townshend’s death, it was bequeathed to the Wisbech & Fenland Museum, near the Townshend family estate, where it has resided ever since.

Jan 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Manuscript of Great Expec...

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