In this Audible Exclusive performance by Matt Lucas of Great Expectations, Charles Dickens demonstrates that conscience, loyalty and empathy are virtues far more valuable than intellect, wealth and social standing.
First published in Dickens own periodical, All the Year Round, the novel was divided into nine monthly instalments, from December 1860 to August 1861. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant success and managed to sell over 100,000 copies per week. Though written at a challenging time in Dickens life, when the impending breakdown of his marriage loomed over him, Great Expectations proves to be one of his most optimistic, comical and romantic novels.
This exclusive recording of Great Expectations starts with a unique introduction written and narrated by Howard Jacobson, the Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question, in which he explains why Great Expectations is his favourite Dickens title.
About the book
Through a rich first-person narrative, listeners are introduced to the character of young Pip as he visits the tombstones of his beloved parents. Unexpectedly confronted by the dark and mysterious Magwitch, a convict in desperate need of food, Pip must decide whether to aid or impede the stranger standing in front of him – a decision which will shape the course of his life. Introducing some of the most iconic, Gothic and comically repulsive literary characters of all time, from the vengeful Miss Havisham, torn apart by a man she once loved, to her beautiful yet seemingly impenetrable ward, Estella, the listener is propelled through a wonderfully Dickensian world.
About the author
Much like Pip, Charles Dickens was born into poverty. In his case, it was due to the incarceration of his father, and Dickens was forced to set aside his education in order to work at a nearby factory. Amazingly, this did not deter the young Dickens from rising above his station, and he went on to publish 15 novels, various articles, five novellas and hundreds of short stories. He lectured and campaigned for fair treatment of the lower classes as well as for childrens rights and education.
About the narrator
British comedian, actor and screenwriter Matt Lucas is best known for the television show Little Britain as well as playing both Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland and his role as Nardole in the 10th series of Doctor Who. Able to embody so many characters with just his voice, Lucas is a perfect fit for Great Expectations.