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While visiting his parents gravesite in the marshy mists of a village graveyard, Pip, a young orphan living with his older sister, encounters a shivering, limping convict on the run. In spite of his fear of the man, Pip befriends the convict and gives aid, an act that spells considerable consequences for Pip later in life. Fate intervenes and Pip is sent to the household of Miss Havisham, a wealthy and eccentric spinster.
Pip shares the household with Miss Havisham and her beautiful, but cold, adopted daughter Estella. Estella seizes every opportunity to tempt and spurn the admiring Pip. Undaunted, Pip tries to make a gentleman of himself and win the heart of Estella by using a trust fund he believes has been established for him by Miss Havisham.
A word about the author: After completing GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Dickens had the work critiqued by his friend and novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton. Lytton objected strongly to the original ‘unacceptable’ ending, so Dickens changed it to its current ‘more acceptable’ form. In this reading, you will hear both endings. The ‘acceptable’ ending is first and the original ending is presented second.