Characters that stick in the memory

Charles Dickens (aged 27 in 1839) by Daniel Maclise Wikipedia Commons / National Portrait Gallery
Charles Dickens (aged 27 in 1839) by Daniel Maclise
Wikipedia Commons / National Portrait Gallery

Charles Dickens Great Expectations
Collins Classic, HarperPress 2010 (1861)

Characters stick in
my memory: Estella,
Joe, Miss H. And yours?

I find it hard to distinguish between the images furnished by my first reading of this and by the BBC serialisation in the 60s. I suspect that the TV version came first and influenced my rather rapid reading of the novel where I omitted all the characterisation, social commentary, landscape descriptions and comedy in favour of rooting out the plain narrative. So, Great Expectations for me then was a mix of two themes, the rags-to-riches story of Pip and the boy-meets-girl-but-it-doesn’t-go-smoothly tale of Pip’s infatuation with Estella, and hang the rich tapestry of life in early 19th-century rural Kent and teeming London which Dickens grew up with.

I’m so glad I gave this a second chance, and that with maturity and experience am able to more fully appreciate the subtleties and nuances of Dickens’ story. Continue reading “Characters that stick in the memory”