Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in serial form in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861 On Christmas Eve, around 1812, Pip, an orphan of about six, encounters an escaped convict in village churchyard while visiting his mother's, father's and younger brothers' graves.
The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him, and a file to grind away his shackles, from the home he shares with his older sister and her husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. Next day, soldiers recapture two convicts engaged in a fight and return them to the prison ship.
Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster who wears an old wedding dress and lives in the dilapidated Satis House, asks Pip's "Uncle Pumblechook" (who is actually Joe's uncle) to find a boy to play with her adopted daughter Estella. Pip begins to visit Miss Havisham and Estella, with whom he falls in love, with Miss Havisham's encouragement.