Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed a Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín.
I read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in high school. Pip was my first literature crush. That and Miss Havisham in her torn and dusty bridal gown are about all that I remember from the book.
Oh, I remember that it was a very fat book and that I impressed my teachers because I was carrying it around for a few weeks, long enough that people noticed what I was reading. I had similar experiences with Gone with the Wind and Hamlet.
I do remember that I enjoyed reading it. I was in the middle of a quest to read all the Dickens novels in the library. I was much older when I realized that the library didn’t have all the Dickens novels, so I missed a few. I read Bleak House in my thirties and I still haven’t read Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend, among others. Maybe I should take another go at reading Dickens.
We watched the 2012 version directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral). I’m a fan of Helena Bonham Carter (A Room With a View, The King’s Speech, the Harry Potter series) and I really enjoyed her in the role of Miss Havisham. In this version, Pip is played by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse). I also really liked Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, the Harry Potter series) in this film as the convict, Magwitch.
The Kent scenes were filmed at various locations including the Chatham Historic Dockyard. According to the Wikipedia article, the Victorian street scenes were created in a former Gilette factory. I liked watching 19th-century England come to life in this film.
After seeing the film, I now believe that I read Great Expectations when I was too young. I don’t remember much of the story because a lot of the motivations and concerns of the characters went over my head.
What novels did you read when you were too young to fully appreciate them?