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Charles Dickens

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This book is available for free download in a number of formats - including epub, pdf, azw, mobi and more. You can also read the full text online using our ereader. Sidney Carton is almost the only case in which Dickens has drawn a hero on the true heroic scale, and his famous act of self-sacrifice is unmatched in fiction.

Charles Dickens Information

Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty is a historical novel by English author, Charles Dickens, first published in 1841. The story is set during the anti-Catholic riots of 1780 and focuses on the individuals who get caught up in the chaos, including Barnaby Rudge, a simple man who has a pet raven, and Edward Chester (a Protestant), who is in love with Emma Haredale (a Catholic). One of Dicken's lesser known novels, Barnaby Rudge is nonetheless among the most brilliant and most terrifying.

This book has 557 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1841.

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Excerpt from 'Barnaby Rudge'

In the year 1775, there stood upon the borders of Epping Forest, at a distance of about twelve miles from London—measuring from the Standard in Cornhill, or rather from the spot on or near to which the Standard used to be in days of yore—a house of public entertainment called the Maypole; which fact was demonstrated to all such travellers as could neither read nor write (and at that time a vast number both of travellers and stay-at-homes were in this condition) by the emblem reared on the roadside over against the house, which, if not of those goodly proportions that Maypoles were wont to present in olden times, was a fair young ash, thirty feet in height, and straight as any arrow that ever English yeoman drew.

The Maypole—by which term from henceforth is meant the house, and not its sign—the Maypole was an old building, with more gable ends than a lazy man would care to count on a sunny day; huge zig-zag chimneys, out of which it seemed as though even smoke could not choose but come in more than naturally fantastic shapes, imparted to it in its tortuous progress; and vast stables, gloomy, ruinous, and empty. The place was said to have been built in the days of King Henry the Eighth; and there was a legend, not only that Queen Elizabeth had slept there one night while upon a hunting excursion, to wit, in a certain oak-panelled room with a deep bay window, but that next morning, while standing on a mounting block before the door with one foot in the stirrup, the virgin monarch had then and there boxed and cuffed an unlucky page for some neglect of duty. The matter-of-fact and doubtful folks, of whom there were a few among the Maypole customers, as unluckily there always are in every little community, were inclined to look upon this tradition as rather apocryphal; but, whenever the landlord of that ancient hostelry appealed to the mounting block itself as evidence, and triumphantly pointed out that there it stood in the same place to that very day, the doubters never failed to be put down by a large majority, and all true believers exulted as in a victory.

Whether these, and many other stories of the like nature, were true or untrue, the Maypole was really an old house, a very old house, perhaps as old as it claimed to be, and perhaps older, which will sometimes happen with houses of an uncertain, as with ladies of a certain, age. Its windows were old diamond-pane lattices, its floors were sunken and uneven, its ceilings blackened by the hand of time, and heavy with massive beams. Over the doorway was an ancient porch, quaintly and grotesquely carved; and here on summer evenings the more favoured customers smoked and drank—ay, and sang many a good song too, sometimes—reposing on two grim-looking high-backed settles, which, like the twin dragons of some fairy tale, guarded the entrance to the mansion.

In the chimneys of the disused rooms, swallows had built their nests for many a long year, and from earliest spring to latest autumn whole colonies of sparrows chirped and twittered in the eaves. There were more pigeons about the dreary stable-yard and out-buildings than anybody but the landlord could reckon up. The wheeling and circling flights of runts, fantails, tumblers, and pouters, were perhaps not quite consistent with the grave and sober character of the building, but the monotonous cooing, which never ceased to be raised by some among them all day long, suited it exactly, and seemed to lull it to rest. With its overhanging stories, drowsy little panes of glass, and front bulging out and projecting over the pathway, the old house looked as if it were nodding in its sleep. Indeed, it needed no very great stretch of fancy to detect in it other resemblances to humanity. The bricks of which it was built had originally been a deep dark red, but had grown yellow and discoloured like an old man’s skin; the sturdy timbers had decayed like teeth; and here and there the ivy, like a warm garment to comfort it in its age, wrapt its green leaves closely round the time-worn walls.

It was a hale and hearty age though, still: and in the summer or autumn evenings, when the glow of the setting sun fell upon the oak and chestnut trees of the adjacent forest, the old house, partaking of its lustre, seemed their fit companion, and to have many good years of life in him yet.

The evening with which we have to do, was neither a summer nor an autumn one, but the twilight of a day in March, when the wind howled dismally among the bare branches of the trees, and rumbling in the wide chimneys and driving the rain against the windows of the Maypole Inn, gave such of its frequenters as chanced to be there at the moment an undeniable reason for prolonging their stay, and caused the landlord to prophesy that the night would certainly clear at eleven o’clock precisely,—which by a remarkable coincidence was the hour at which he always closed his house.

The name of him upon whom the spirit of prophecy thus descended was John Willet, a burly, large-headed man with a fat face, which betokened profound obstinacy and slowness of apprehension, combined with a very strong reliance upon his own merits. It was John Willet’s ordinary boast in his more placid moods that if he were slow he was sure; which assertion could, in one sense at least, be by no means gainsaid, seeing that he was in everything unquestionably the reverse of fast, and withal one of the most dogged and positive fellows in existence—always sure that what he thought or said or did was right, and holding it as a thing quite settled and ordained by the laws of nature and Providence, that anybody who said or did or thought otherwise must be inevitably and of necessity wrong.

Mr Willet walked slowly up to the window, flattened his fat nose against the cold glass, and shading his eyes that his sight might not be affected by the ruddy glow of the fire, looked abroad. Then he walked slowly back to his old seat in the chimney-corner, and, composing himself in it with a slight shiver, such as a man might give way to and so acquire an additional relish for the warm blaze, said, looking round upon his guests:

‘It’ll clear at eleven o’clock. No sooner and no later. Not before and not arterwards.’

‘How do you make out that?’ said a little man in the opposite corner. ‘The moon is past the full, and she rises at nine.’

John looked sedately and solemnly at his questioner until he had brought his mind to bear upon the whole of his observation, and then made answer, in a tone which seemed to imply that the moon was peculiarly his business and nobody else’s:

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July 30, 2021 by

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was published as a complete volume in 1861 and was one of the author’s last completed works. It features a memorable cast of characters and serves as a coming of age tale. It is among Dickens’ best-known and best-loved novels and incorporates elements from a wide range of different genres.

In this blog post, we examine the book in more depth, offer a summary, provide contextual information on the novel and its author, and explain why you can now legally read Great Expectations online for free.

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About Great Expectations.

Great Expectations was originally published in a serialised format in the literary magazine All the Year Round, which Dickens partly owned. The serialisation of the novel spanned from 1860 to 1861 and saw the novel published monthly, across nine months in total. The first complete edition was then published later in 1861.

Upon release, Great Expectations immediately generated a positive critical response and was also commercially successful. It has since become one of the most popular works of fiction published in the 19th century and has inspired various TV, film and stage adaptations, while also being considered part of the English literature canon.

Great Expectations Summary.

The novel is divided into three main stages and serves as a ‘Bildungsroman’, or a coming of age story, which is centred on Philip Pirrip, or Pip, who is the main protagonist. It tells the tale of Pip’s maturity from an orphan boy, to a wealthy man, thanks to an anonymous and mysterious patron. This then allows him to enter into high society.

Other key characters in the novel include Abel Magwitch, who is an escaped convict that Pip meets during his childhood, the eccentric Miss Havisham, and her adopted daughter, Estella Havisham, who Pip falls in love with.

Charles Dickens in Love PDF Free download

Great Expectations is often described as a novel that includes elements of different genres, with examples including crime, comedy, romance and Gothic literature. Some of the major themes and ideas that are explored in the book include social class, wealth and hardship, family, justice, and love.

About Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth, England. He was forced to leave school at the age of 12 to work in a factory, but in spite of his lack of a formal education, he went on to become one of the most successful authors of all-time, as well as a successful editor and a campaigner for social reform.

Aside from Great Expectations, some of Dickens’ most famous novels and novellas include A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield. Much of his writing was inspired by his own life experiences and the presence of poor social conditions is a common thread throughout most of his written works.

Dickens died in 1870, at the age of 58, as a result of a stroke. Unlike many authors of his time, he enjoyed great success and critical acclaim during his lifetime and his books remain extremely popular around the world to this day.

Great Expectations Quotes.

“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”

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“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”

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“Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces – and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper – love her, love her, love her!”

“In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.”

“The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day.”

How to Read the Great Expectations Book Online for Free.

After a significant amount of time has passed since the death of an author, novels and other publications fall into the public domain. As Charles Dickens died all the way back in 1870, this applies and his work is no longer protected by copyright. It is, therefore, legal to download a Great Expectations PDF, ePUB, MOBI or other e-book file for free.

Great Expextations on Project Gutenberg – ePUB, HTML, Kindle: One way to do this is to download an e-book version of Great Expectations on Project Gutenberg, which is a website that offers a vast amount of free and public domain books in numerous file formats.

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You can find the novel at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1400

The website features options to download the novel in Kindle, ePUB, HTML, plain text and other formats. Simply select from the available options and then click on the link to start your download, or to view the book in your browser.

Read the Great Expectations book online – HTML: Another way to read Great Expectations from within your web browser, without needing to download the file, is to use ManyBooks. The URL to use for this is below:

Great Expectations PDF, ePUB: Similarly, Archive.org also offers the option to view the book via a web browser. In addition to this, however, it also offers options to download the book in ePUB or PDF format, or hear the book read out to you via the text-to-voice function. You can access Great Expectations via Archive.org by using the URL below:

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Great Expectations Audiobook: Finally, there is also the option to listen to the Great Expectations audiobook online via LibriVox: