Havisham by Ronald Frame is a compelling prelude to Great Expectations, telling the story of Miss Havisham’s early life, before heartbreak came to define her entirely.
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There was a delicate tracery of gold foil on the back of the dress. How strange that such a consummately made garment should be worn for this one day only. But, as every girl growing up understood, her wedding day was the most significant she would know: a woman’s crowning glory.
Catherine Havisham was born into privilege. Handsome, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer, and lives in luxury in Satis House. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall – HAVISHAM. A reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.
Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers literature, music and masquerades – elegant pastimes to remove the taint of new money. But for all her growing sophistication Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything – her heart, her future, the very Havisham name – is vulnerable.
It is a masterly tribute to one of Dickens’s most celebrated and iconic characters
Frame's lyrical new book.
Both imaginative and moving.
This re-imagining will delight readers ... Frame had a talent for thrilling Victorian melodrama, and the tackles the controversial ending with superb assurance.
Havisham is a welcome addition.
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