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It is unclear just how old Magwitch is, but he would have been tried under the "Bloody Code" [Martin Watts: to follow]. Like Pip’s other father figure Joe, he has grown up with very little education, later confiding that ‘A deserting soldier in a Travellers’ Rest, what lay hid up to the chin under a lot of taturs, learnt me to read; and a travelling Giant what signed his name at a penny a time learnt me to write’. Grateful to Pip for trying to save him from the hulks, his tragic mistake is to think that he can use the fortune he acquires in Australia to educate and so ‘make a gentleman’ of him. In one sense he succeeds, but Pip will only learn to love him through rejecting what he gives him.