A mysterious benefactor provides Philip Pirrip with the chance to escape his poor upbringing. Aspiring to be a gentleman, and encouraged by his expectations of wealth, he abandons his friends and moves to London. His expectations prove to be unfounded, however, and he must return home penniless.
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The hero of this story is Pip, an orphan who is brought up by his bullying older sister and her gentle blacksmith husband, Joe. Pip is apprenticed to Joe at the forge until an anonymous benefactor sponsors his education in London to become a 'gentleman'. Pip believes his benefactor to be the eccentric Miss Havisham. Her ward is the beautiful, but haughty, Estella, with whom Pip is infatuated.
In London Pip becomes a dreadful snob, shuns his kind friends and slips into debt. Despite appearances he is not happy, and sets out to discover the identity of his mysterious benefactor – which comes as a shock to both Pip and the listener.About the Author:
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and grew up in poverty. This experience influenced ‘Oliver Twist’, the second of his fourteen major novels, which first appeared in 1837. When he died in 1870, he was buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey as an indication of his huge popularity as a novelist, which endures to this day.
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