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Great Expectations and Charles Dickens facts

Great Expectations

Feature by Jack Foley

TO celebrate the release of Mike Newell’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, March 25, 2013, we have some interesting facts about the novel and the author himself.

Great Expectations:

Dickens came up with the name Magwitch in 1855 – five years before he started GE.

The novel was originally designed to be published in monthly instalments but changed it to weekly publication. It was published over 36 instalments.

It was published in Dickens’s own popular magazine All The Year Round, a family-friendly publication edited and run by the author. His only other novel published in this magazine was A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens adapted the story for his famous public readings but it was never performed.

The novel is the only one in which Dickens did not collaborate with an artist from the outset, as both the serial and first edition publication were not illustrated.

The graveyard in the opening scene has been identified as one in Cooling, Kent, near Dickens’s home.

100,000 copies were sold weekly while Great Expectations was published. In addition, some 42,000 readers borrowed the novel from the lending library.

Charles Dickens:

Worked in a factory as a 12-year-old.

Wrote 15 novels.

Wanted to be an actor and in later life gave performances from his own works.

Owned and ran his own magazine in which Great Expectations appeared – in it he also published Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White and The Moonstone.

Met Queen Victoria just months before his death.

Survived one of the UK’s worst rail crashes which occurred exactly five years before his death on June 9, 1865 (he died on the same day in 1870).

His first novel The Pickwick Papers was one of the biggest publishing sensation in the 19th Century.

From 1835-1836 Dickens lived in Furnival’s Inn which is opposite Barnard’s Inn – where Pip lives with Herbert.

Charles Dickens Museum:

Dickens lived at Doughty Street from 1837-1839.

He wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby in this house and confirmed his status as the world’s most famous writer.

Holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens items.

Shows rooms as Dickens would have seen them with original furniture, objects and literary manuscripts and books.

Great Expectations is released on Blu-ray and DVD from March 25, 2013 courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.