Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel. It is the second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person.
Great Expectations is a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age novel, and it is a classic work of Victorian literature. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in serial form in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861.
It is set among the marshes of Kent and in London in the early to mid-1800s.From the outset, the reader is "treated" by the terrifying encounter between Pip, the protagonist, and the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. Great Expectations is a graphic book, full of extreme imagery, poverty, prison ships, "the hulks," barriers and chains, and fights to the death. It therefore combines intrigue and unexpected twists of autobiographical detail in different tones. Regardless of its narrative technique, the novel reflects the events of the time, Dickens' concerns, and the relationship between society and man.
George Bernard Shaw praised the novel as "All of one piece and consistently truthful." Dickens felt Great Expectations was his best work, calling it "a very fine idea,"