According to http://www.shmoop.com/literature/ new added database to our website:
“Great Expectations was Charles Dickens’s penultimate novel (a.k.a. the second to last one he ever wrote), and it was originally featured in a magazine. That’s right. Great Expectations was a serialized publication lasting from December 1, 1860 until August 3, 1861. Two chapters were published every week, telling the story of a young man named Pip who aspired to be a gentleman and win over the beautiful Estella. Basically, Great Expectations (and serialized novels like it) were as close as Victorian England got to Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, or Lost. People waited anxiously every week for the next “episode” to arrive in the newsstands and on the shelves.When he prepared to write this novel, Charles Dickens was already world famous for his robust body of work, but he was also the editor of a struggling publication called All the Year Round. This publication was no Atlantic Monthly, but it was a solid literary magazine featuring stories, essays, and illustrations. The problem was that his number one, superstar writer was churning out one seriously snooze-worthy (serialized) story. All the Year Round’s readership was diminishing, and Charles Dickens had to do something drastic to keep it from tanking altogether. As luck would have it, he had the plot for a new novel sketched out. He was saving it for publication in another (cooler and better-paying) publication, but decided to run it in his own magazine in order to stave off bankruptcy.”
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