Further Reading: Great Expectations

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
This study edition is shelved in non-fiction because, in addition to the complete text of the novel, it contains a comprehensive study guide, including scene-by-scene summaries, explanations and discussions of the plot, a Dickens biography, list of characters and more. A staff pick of Carnegie Library’s senior librarian literature specialist.

Dickens’s Great Expectations: A Reader’s Guide, by Ian Brinton
Great Expectations (1861) is not only one of the last great novels to be written by Dickens but is also one which centers on his primary themes: the importance of childhood in relationship to adult life, concepts of guilt and imprisonment and an analysis of individualism as opposed to the increasing bureaucracy of nineteenth-century England. This guide is an ideal introduction to the text including its contexts, Dickens’s style and imagery, its critical reception from the time of publication to the present, a guide to illustrated editions and film adaptations and a guide to further reading.

Annoying the Victorians, by James R. Kincaid
What happens when bad criticism happens to good people? With a chapter devoted to Great Expectations, Annoying the Victorians sets the tradition of critical discourse and literary criticism on its ear. James Kincaid brings his witty, erudite and thoroughly cynical self to the Victorians, and they will never read (or be read) quite the same.


Beyond Great Expectations…

Great Expectations: The Graphic Novel, Charles Dickens; script by Jen Green; adapted by Brigit Viney
This graphic adaptation of Great Expectations encourages readers to enjoy classical literature while remaining faithful to Dickens’ original work. The striking color artwork captures the ambiance of Victorian life and makes the story more accessible than ever.

Grave Expectations, Charles Dickens; Sherri Browning Erwin
This entertaining novel combines Dickens’ classic work of fiction with the horror genre, into a single narrative. Pip is an unlikely werewolf, Estella an aloof slayer, and Miss Havisham a brokenhearted vampire. Library Journal highly recommends this mashup as astounding great fun.

Havisham, by Ronald Frame    
Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. In Havisham, Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.

Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones
This prizewinning novel by New Zealand author Jones is an eloquent homage to the power of storytelling. Thirteen-year-old Matilda is at a loss to understand the violence that has torn apart her tropical island. Her village, caught in the crossfire of the conflict between government troops and local armed rebels, has lost its teachers. The eccentric Mr. Watts, married to a local woman who is generally thought to be mad, takes over the post as teacher and begins to read to the class from his favorite novel, Great Expectations. The accessible narrative, with its direct and graceful prose, belies the sophistication of its telling as Jones addresses head-on the effects of imperialism and the redemptive power of art.


See the Film…
Visit the Music, Film & Audio Department at CLP – Main for various filmed versions of Great Expectations available to check out.


Go to CarnegieLibrary.org to reserve your copies today!