Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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p. vii

Abbreviations

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pp. viii-xvii

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Preface

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pp. xviii-xx

Dickens's Great Expectations: Misnar's Pavilion versus Cinderella completes an informal trilogy. The first part of the trilogy, Hidden Rivalries in Victorian Fiction: Dickens, Realism, and Revaluation (1987), examined parodic revaluation in the nineteenth-century British novel generally; during the realism wars of the 1850s, social analysts certified the...

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1. Misnar versus Cinderella

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pp. 1-40

Several of Dickens's primary reasons for authoring have gone unobserved; these motivations determined the mood and manner in which he wrote his thirteenth novel and offer reliable clues as to what it is about and...

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2. Lever

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pp. 41-75

Thanks to Charles Lever's unpopular serial, circulation of All the Year Round declined significantly for the only time during Dickens's life. His new periodical in jeopardy, the novelist had to rescue the editor by writing Great Expectations, which reversed the slump in...

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3. Thackeray

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pp. 76-96

G.K. Chesterton mistook Great Expectations for a paean to Thackeray: "Thackerayan" throughout, it should be read as "an extra chapter to The Book of Snobs" (GKC, 197). Dickens, Chesterton maintained, tried to become Thackeray—"a quiet, a detached, even a cynical observer of...

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4. David Copperfield

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pp. 97-122

Like Pendennis, Michael Lund has noted, David Copperfield is a lengthy bildungsroman whose hero survives youthful infatuation to become a successful writer with an angelic wife (ML, 77). Both novels, Carol Hanberry MacKay agrees, "detail the growth into maturity of young men who become...

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5. Collins

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pp. 123-154

Undermining the traditional bourgeois ethic of self-help," it has been argued, was Wilkie Collins's goal in The Woman in White (NR, 47).1 Actually, this was Dickens's job, and he accused Collins of complicating it. In Dickens's opinion, his younger rival sensationalized...

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6. Mary Shelley

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pp. 155-179

Besides trying to obliterate Walter Hartright's encounter with the woman in white, Dickens's sensational opening aimed to discredit chapter 16 of Frankenstein, in which the creature tells his creator how he strangled the latter's younger brother. Great Expectations commences by reworking...

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7. Charlotte Brontë

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pp. 180-205

Of all the allegedly unrealistic novelists whom Great Expectations ridicules, none was targeted with more vim than Charlotte Bronte. Dickens's "great revisionary novel,"1 his most versatile revaluative parody, reserves much of its severest scorn for scenes, ideas, and characters from...

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8. Emily Brontë

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pp. 206-227

Dickens shared the distaste some of Emily Bronte's contemporaries expressed for her fascination with devilish behavior, which supposedly leaves a "moral taint" on Wuthering Heights.1 "Appropos of Miss Hogarth saying that [Jane Eyre] was an unhealthy book," Dickens declared...

Synopsis A: The Tale of Misnar's Pavilion

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pp. 228-231

Synopsis B: A Day's Ride

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pp. 232-235

Notes

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pp. 236-267

Index

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pp. 268-278