Bartleby .com publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature and nonfiction
In his Book of Memoranda , begun in 1855, Dickens wrote names for possible characters: Magwitch, Provis, Clarriker, Compey, Pumblechook, Orlick, Gargery, Wopsle, Skiffins, some of which became familiar in Great Expectations . There is also a reference to a "knowing man", a possible sketch of Bentley Drummle.  Another evokes a house full of "Toadies and Humbugs", foreshadowing the visitors to Satis House in chapter 11.   Margaret Cardwell discovered the "premonition" of Great Expectations from a 25 September 1855 letter from Dickens to W. H. Wills, in which Dickens speaks of recycling an "odd idea" from the Christmas special " A House to Let " and "the pivot round which my next book shall revolve."   The "odd idea" concerns an individual who "retires to an old lonely house…resolved to shut out the world and hold no communion with it."