Great Expectations

Hardcover | December 12, 2012

byCharles DickensIllustratorJessica Hische

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From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by type superstar Jessica Hische

It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and gift-worthy hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet by superstar type designer Jessica Hische, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. A collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley,  the series design encompasses foil-stamped paper-over-board cases in a rainbow-hued spectrum across all twenty-six book spines and a decorative stain on all three paper edges. Penguin Drop Caps debuts with an “A” for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a “B” for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and a “C” for Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, and continues with more classics from Penguin.

D is for Dickens. The orphan Pip is destined to become a blacksmith like his brother-in-law Joe. But when Pip meets the beautiful Estella Havisham, he yearns for a gentleman’s education in order to woo her. A mysterious legacy answers his ambition, and changes the course of his life, taking him far from the Marshes of youth—far, so he thinks, from his early terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, and his sister’s class resentments. In this fictional autobiography, Pip’s coming-of-age story becomes representative of the changing social landscape of nineteenth-century England. As Pip’s education provides upward social mobility, he must also learn hard lessons about self-delusion and forgiveness, love and loss, and the true nature of his Great Expectations.

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From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by type superstar Jessica Hische It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and gift-worthy hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of th...

CHARLES DICKENS was born at Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, the second of eight children. Dickens's childhood experiences were similar to those depicted in David Copperfield. His father, who was a government clerk, was imprisoned for debt and Dickens was briefly sent to work in a blacking warehouse at the age of twelve. He received ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:592 pages, 7.75 × 5.38 × 1.71 inPublished:December 12, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143123793

ISBN - 13:9780143123798

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Chapter I.My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, myinfant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit thanPip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstoneand my sister – Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never sawmy father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (fortheir days were long before the days of photographs), my first fanciesregarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from theirtombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd ideathat he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From thecharacter and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,"I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. Tofive little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which werearranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory offive little brothers of mine – who gave up trying to get a living exceedinglyearly in that universal struggle – I am indebted for a belief I religiouslyentertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands intheir trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state ofexistence.Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within as the river wound,twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of theidentity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable rawafternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, thatthis bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that PhilipPirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, weredead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, andRoger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; andthat the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykesand mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes;and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distantsavage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that thesmall bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, wasPip."Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from amongthe graves at the side of the church porch. "Keep still, you little devil,or I'll cut your throat!"A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man withno hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. Aman who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed bystones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; wholimped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered inhis head as he seized me by the chin."Oh! Don't cut my throat, sir," I pleaded in terror. "Pray don't do it,sir.""Tell us your name!" said the man. "Quick!""Pip, sir.""Once more," said the man, staring at me. "Give it mouth!"

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & BooksWinner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design AwardPraise for Penguin Drop Caps:"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."—Fast Company“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times"Drool-inducing."—Flavorwire"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."—Redbook