their days were long before the days of photographs),

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Historical | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter I

Photography emerged in the late 1830s. Before then the vast majority of people had little or no notion of what their dead ancestors looked like.  

But "long before" is when? Pip's age at the novel's opening, we learn later, is seven, possibly six. From internal dating we know that Pip was born about the turn of the century. Anny Sadrin concludes in "A Chronology of Great Expectations"  that Pip is born about ten years before Dickens and so about 1802. (See also Jerome Meckier, "Dating the Action in Great Expectations")

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