The Manuscript of Great Expectations

From the Townshend Collection, Wisbech
The Manuscript of Great Expectations: From the Townshend Collection, Wisbech. Cambridge Univ. (Cambridge Library Collection). Feb. 2012. c.286p. ISBN 9781108034401. pap. $48. LIT
This volume is comprised entirely of a high-resolution photographic reproduction, page by page and to the exact original scale, of Dickens's autograph manuscript of his penultimate completed novel. After finishing a work, Dickens would bind the manuscript and present it to a friend, in this case Chauncey Hare Townshend, who bequeathed it to the Wisbech and Fenland Museum. There is no editorial apparatus, no introduction or annotations, just the almost indecipherable scrawl of the man himself. The cover sadly is not a reproduction of the original boards; instead, it resembles a Sotheby's or Christie's auction catalog.
VERDICT This will be manna for true Dickens aficionados and all who love exhibits of original literary manuscripts. (Cambridge University Press has also come out with new reprints of the novel's original published parts, as well as of its first book edition.)
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