Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: Great Expectations
- When Written: 1860-1861
- Where Written: Kent, England
- When Published: Serialized from 1860-1861; published in 1861
- Literary Period: Victorian Era
- Genre: Coming-of-Age Novel (Bildungsroman)
- Setting: Kent and London, England
- Climax: Pip discovers his patron is the convict
- Antagonist: Orlick, Bentley Drummle, and Compeyson
- Point of View: First person (Pip is the narrator)
Serial Fiction – In the Victorian era, books were often published by magazines in serial installments before they were printed as complete books. Great Expectations was serialized in All the Year Round, the weekly magazine Dickens' founded and ran.
Alternative Endings – Great Expectations has been published with two different endings. Dickens' rewrote the original ending in response to complaints that it was too sad. Most contemporary editions of the novel are published with this revised (and happier) ending.