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HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. `My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.' An orphan destined for a life of misery and poverty, Pip does not have much in the way of expectations. Only when he begins to visit a rich old woman, Miss Havisham, does he begin to hope for better. When Pip discovers that he has inherited a large sum of money on the condition that he move to London to live the life of a gentleman, Pip takes his chance to leave behind the world he knows and embark upon a new adventure. An illuminating tale of intrigue, fortune and unattainable love, Great Expectations has a cast of memorable characters, and is one of Dickens' most enduring and popular novels.
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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.