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Overview

Dickens' great coming-of-age novel, now in a beautiful new clothbound edition

This is the novel Dickens regarded as his "favourite child" and is considered his most autobiographical. As David recounts his experiences from childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist, Dickens draws openly and revealingly on his own life. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters are Rosa Dartle, Dora, Steerforth, and the 'umble Uriah Heep, along with Mr. Micawber, a portrait of Dickens's own father that evokes a mixture of love, nostalgia, and guilt.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780241240366
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Series: A Penguin Classics Hardcover Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 1024
Sales rank: 179,501
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

A literary phenomenon in his lifetime and renowned as much for his journalism and public speaking as for his novels, Charles Dickens (1812–70) now ranks as the most important Victorian writer and one of the most influential and popular authors in the English language. His memorable and vividly rendered characters and his combination of humour, trenchant satire and compassion have left an indelible mark on our collective imagination.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Education:

Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Read an Excerpt

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.

In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night.

I need say nothing here on the first head, because nothing can show better than my history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result. On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran through that part of my inheritance while I was still a baby, I have not come into it yet. But I do not at all complain of having been kept out of this property; and if anybody else should be in the present enjoyment of it, he is heartily welcome to keep it.

I was born with a caul, which was advertised for sale, in the newspapers, at the low price of fifteen guineas. Whether seagoing people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don't know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking business, who offered two pounds in cash, and the balance in sherry, but declined to be guaranteed from drowning on any higher bargain. Consequently the advertisement was withdrawn at a dead loss—for as to sherry, my poor dear mother's own sherry was in the market then—and ten years afterwards the caul was put up in a raffle down in our part of the country, to fifty members at half a crown a head, the winner to spend five shillings. I was present myself, and I remember to have felt quite uncomfortable and confused, at a part of myself being disposed of in that way. The caul was won, I recollect, by an old lady with a hand-basket, who, very reluctantly, produced from it the stipulated five shillings, all in halfpence, and twopence halfpenny short—as it took an immense time and a great waste of arithmetic, to endeavour without any effect to prove to her. It is a fact which will be long remembered as remarkable down there, that she was never drowned, but died triumphantly in bed, at ninety-two. I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiety of mariners and others, who had the presumption to go 'meandering' about the world. It was in vain to represent to her that some conveniences, tea perhaps included, resulted from this objectionable practice. She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowl-edge of the strength of her objection, 'Let us have no meandering.'

Not to meander myself, at present, I will go back to my birth.

I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or 'thereby,' as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father's eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white gravestone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were—almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes—bolted and locked against it.

An aunt of my father's, and consequently a great-aunt of mine, of whom I shall have more to relate by-and-by, was the principal magnate of our family. Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome, except in the sense of the homely adage, 'handsome is, that handsome does'—for he was strongly suspected of having beaten Miss Betsey, and even of having once, on a disputed question of supplies, made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw her out of a two pair of stairs' window. These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent. He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo—or a Begum. Anyhow, from India tidings of his death reached home, within ten years. How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was understood to live secluded, ever afterwards, in an inflexible retirement.
My father had once been a favourite of hers, I believe; but she was mortally affronted by his marriage, on the ground that my mother was 'a wax doll.' She had never seen my mother, but she knew her to be not yet twenty. My father and Miss Betsey never met again. He was double my mother's age when he married, and of but a delicate constitution. He died a year afterwards, and, as I have said, six months before I came into the world.

This was the state of matters on the afternoon of, what I may be excused for calling, that eventful and important Friday. I can make no claim, therefore, to have known, at that time, how matters stood; or to have any remembrance, founded on the evidence of my own senses, of what follows.

My mother was sitting by the fire, but poorly in health, and very low in spirits, looking at it through her tears, and desponding heavily about herself and the fatherless little stranger, who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins in a drawer upstairs, to a world not at all excited on the subject of his arrival; my mother, I say, was sitting by the fire, that bright, windy March afternoon, very timid and sad, and very doubtful of ever coming alive out of the trial that was before her, when, lifting her eyes as she dried them, to the window opposite, she saw a strange lady coming up the garden.

My mother had a sure foreboding at the second glance, that it was Miss Betsey. The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else.

When she reached the house, she gave another proof of her identity. My father had often hinted that she seldom conducted herself like any ordinary Christian; and now, instead of ringing the bell, she came and looked in at that identical window, pressing the end of her nose against the glass to that extent that my poor dear mother used to say it became perfectly flat and white in a moment.
She gave my mother such a turn, that I have always been convinced I am indebted to Miss Betsey for having been born on a Friday.

My mother had left her chair in her agitation, and gone behind it in the corner. Miss Betsey, looking round the room, slowly and inquiringly, began on the other side, and carried her eyes on, like a Saracen's head in a Dutch clock, until they reached my mother. Then she made a frown and a gesture to my mother, like one who was accustomed to be obeyed, to come and open the door. My mother went.
'Mrs. David Copperfield, I think,' said Miss Betsey; the emphasis referring, perhaps, to my mother's mourning weeds, and her condition.

'Yes,' said my mother, faintly.

'Miss Trotwood,' said the visitor. 'You have heard of her, I dare say?'

My mother answered she had had that pleasure. And she had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure.

'Now you see her,' said Miss Betsey. My mother bent her head, and begged her to walk in.

They went into the parlour my mother had come from, the fire in the best room on the other side of the passage not being lighted—not having been lighted, indeed, since my father's funeral; and when they were both seated, and Miss Betsey said nothing, my mother, after vainly trying to restrain herself, began to cry.

'Oh, tut, tut, tut!' said Miss Betsey, in a hurry. 'Don't do that! Come, come!'

My mother couldn't help it notwithstanding, so she cried until she had had her cry out.

'Take off your cap, child,' said Miss Betsey, 'and let me see you.'

My mother was too much afraid of her to refuse compliance with this odd request, if she had any disposition to do so. Therefore she did as she was told, and did it with such nervous hands that her hair (which was luxuriant and beautiful) fell all about her face.

'Why, bless my heart!' exclaimed Miss Betsey. 'You are a very baby!'

My mother was, no doubt, unusually youthful in appearance even for her years; she hung her head, as if it were her fault, poor thing, and said, sobbing, that indeed she was afraid she was but a childish widow, and would be but a childish mother if she lived. In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on one knee, and her feet upon the fender, frowning at the fire.

'In the name of Heaven,' said Miss Betsey, suddenly, 'why Rookery?'

'Do you mean the house, ma'm?' asked my mother.

'Why Rookery?' said Miss Betsey. 'Cookery would have been more to the purpose, if you had had any practical ideas of life, either of you.'

'The name was Mr. Copperfield's choice,' returned my mother. 'When he bought the house, he liked to think that there were rooks about it.'

The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garden, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way. As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weatherbeaten ragged old rooks'-nests burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea.

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

"Even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man; and wander desolately back to that time of my life."

Charles Dickens composed this passage between 1845 and 1848 referring to the dark times of his youth when his family moved to London in the early 1820s. The imprisonment of his father forced the family to send the twelve-year-old Dickens to work in a blacking factory. This disruption to Dickens's childhood and education remained a source of intense grief throughout his life. Dickens found these memories too painful to continue his autobiography; in fact, he jealously guarded the facts of his London youth. It was only after his biographer John Forster published his Life of Charles Dickens in 1872 that readers learned of Dickens's difficult youth and of the autobiographical nature of one of his finest creations, David Copperfield.

Originally published in serial form from May 1849 through November 1850, David Copperfield is the first of Dickens's novels written entirely in the first person. Converting his autobiographical impulse into fiction allowed Dickens to explore uncomfortable truths about his life. David Copperfield's time at Murdstone and Grinby's warehouse, his schooling at Salem House, and his relationship with Dora all have their bases in Dickens's own life. But, it may be Dickens's most autobiographical novel, David Copperfield is a work of fiction.

Dickens divides the life of Copperfield into two distinct parts, the first recounting the untimely loss of his innocence. In this orphan tale, Copperfield endures the hardships of his mother's death, a wretched education at Salem House, the toiling at Murdstone and Grinby's, and a desperate escape to his aunt's. Made aware of the vicissitudes of life, Copperfield also learns of the cyclical patterns of life as "David Copperfield of Blunderstone" is reborn at his aunt's as "Copperfield Trotwood"; the barbarous schooling of Mr. Creakle is replaced by the kind instruction of Mr. Wickfield and Dr. Strong; the callous neglect of his stepfather is replaced by the solicitude of his aunt. The practical lesson for Copperfield is to eschew the sternness of Murdstone as well as the carelessness of Micawber, the grandiloquent and improvident father figure who lodges Copperfield.

In the novel's second part, Copperfield establishes himself first as a legal clerk and parliamentary reporter, and later as a novelist. But his professional matters are of less importance than Copperfield's two emotional attachments that frame this part of the novel: his relationships with James Steerforth and Dora Spenlow. Both relationships are portrayed as the "mistaken impulses of an undisciplined heart," and we are meant to second Betsey Trotwood's comment, "Blind! Blind! Blind!" In retrospect, Copperfield confesses that he "loved Dora to idolatry." Dora, who resembles Copperfield's mother in looks and manner, lacks the maturity required to share actively in David's life or to take up the Victorian burdens of housekeeping. The relationship falters and Copperfield begins to see parallels with the marriage of the aging Dr. Strong and his "child wife" Annie. When the marriage dissolves, Dora dies in laborquite conveniently, some critics have charged, for her death releases Copperfield of his conjugal obligations. Idolatry also characterizes his relationship with the Byronic James Steerforth, whom Copperfield unwittingly assists in the seduction of young Emily away from her uncle's care at Yarmouth.

The concluding chapters function as an epilogue to the first two parts. Copperfield, now a famous novelist, takes his sufferings to Europe in a listless journey. He eventually returns to London with renewed vigor to learn of the emigration to Australia of the Micawbers, Peggotty, Emily, and Martha, and of the imprisonment of Steerforth's servant, Littimer, and Uriah Heep. The novel concludes with Copperfield marrying Agnes.

Throughout the novel, Dickens addresses several important social issues of his time: the problem of prostitution in nineteenth-century London, lack of professional opportunities for women in Victorian England, need for humane treatment for the insane, the injustice of debtors' prison, and indictments against the rigidly conventional, purse-proud nineteenth-century English middle class. Against these dilemmas, Dickens offers the intuitive wisdom of Mr. Dick, the genuineness of the Micawbers, and, above all, the simple earnestness of Peggotty.

But Copperfield is foremost a novel about memory. Amidst the tumultuous rise and fall of the London cityscape (obsessively cataloged in the novel), Copperfield's memory preserves the links to his past and brings continuity and coherence to his life while the sudden recollection of the past charges the present with meaning. However, memory also proves to be a source of anguish. Copperfield prefaces the time he spent at Murdstone and Grinby by remarking: "I now approach a period of my life, which I can never lose the remembrance of, while I remember anything; and the recollection of which has often, without my invocation, come before me like a ghost, and haunted happier times." The act of remembrance, even uninvoked remembrance, dredges up early trauma to experience anew.

Given the intimate connection between the lives of Copperfield and his author, it is little wonder that Dickens considered this book his "favourite child." And it is little wonder, given its vast array of memorable characters and its brilliant treatment of the quest for self-knowledge, that Copperfield is Dickens's best loved and most quoted novel. The words of the great English critic G. K. Chesterton perhaps best summarize the experience of reading it: "In this book of David Copperfield, [Dickens] has created creatures who cling to us and tyrannise over us, creatures whom we would not forget if we could, creatures whom we could not forget if we would, creatures who are more actual than the man who made them."


ABOUT CHARLES DICKENS

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812, the first son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. His family moved often throughout his childhood, living variously in Chatham, Kent and Camden Town, London. In 1824, his father was sent to Marshalsea Debtors' Prison for three months, and the young Dickens was forced to work six months labeling bottles at Warren's Blacking warehouse.

Following the completion of his formal education in 1827, Dickens went to work for various London legal firms and became a solicitor's clerk. At eighteen, Dickens met Maria Beadnell whom he courted unsuccessfully until 1833. The episode left a deep impression on Dickens who subsequently based the character of Dora in David Copperfield and Estella in Great Expectations on Maria. In 1836, Dickens married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of a prominent theater and music critic. That same year he also met John Forster, his literary advisor and future biographer, and began serialization of his first novel The Pickwick Papers. Dickens was hired to edit Bentley's Miscellany where his novel Oliver Twist was serialized over a period of two years (1837-9). This work as an editor and fiction writer continued throughout the rest of his life. Dickens achieved tangible success in the coming years by publishing Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge.

Dickens made his first visit to North America in 1842, a trip he later recorded in American Notes. In December of that year, Dickens published his immortal holiday tale, "A Christmas Carol," completing the text in a space of two months. The story proved to be an enormous success with the general public, was dramatized and represented the first of many Christmas stories he would write over the years. At the close of the 1840's Dickens published Dombey and Son and began serialization of his novel, David Copperfield. These novels were followed by Bleak House (1853). From this time onwards, Dickens maintained a furious public reading schedule that proved to be a great popular and financial success.

In the spring of 1859, he initiated a new magazine All the Year Round, which began serialization of A Tale of Two Cities in weekly installments. In the fall of 1860, Dickens, now separated from his wife but with custody of all but one of his children, began work on Great Expectations. His last two novels were Our Mutual Friend (1865) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished at his death. In the fall of 1867, Dickens visited the United States again where he gave readings and visited with Longfellow, Emerson, and President Andrew Johnson. The following fall he began, what would prove to be, his farewell reading tour of England. On June 9, 1870, Dickens died of a cerebral hemorrhage, leaving an estate of 93,000 pounds. His wish to be buried "in the small graveyard under Rochester Castle wall" and "in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner" went unheeded, as a tomb in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey was prepared and the entire nation mourned.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • In the final chapters of the novel, evil is punished (e.g. Heep's and Littimer's imprisonment) and virtue rewarded (e.g. the success of Micawber in Australia), prompting some critics to argue that Copperfield is less a novel of self-discovery than a traditional fairy tale. Do you agree? While it may be the last of Dickens's novels with a "happy ending," how would you characterize the prevailing mood of the book?
  • Although Peggotty assumes heroic stature in the novel, do you find anything obsessive, or even sinister, in his reclamation of Emily? Recalling Mr. Wickfield's confession that his fears of Agnes leaving him caused him to drink, compare his anxieties of his daughter's coming of age with Peggotty's.
  • In his recent biography of the author, Peter Ackroyd claimed that London was for Dickens "an emblem of forgetfulness." Copperfield, in its record of the perpetual destruction and rebuilding of London, would seem to indicate this but is there anything redeemable about the city as it is portrayed in the novel? What about urban life? What is London's relation to Yarmouth?
  • When musing on Steerforth, there are times the narrator reaches a state of rapture. When Steerforth's treachery is discovered, Copperfield admits "I never had loved Steerforth better than when the ties that bound me to him were broken." Does Copperfield ever resolve his feelings for Steerforth?
  • The critic Edmund Wilson claimed that all of Dickens's work revolved around the idea of the prison. How does the prison function as a metaphor in David Copperfield? Examine the role of the various key holders who possess or attempt to possess control of otherse.g. Mrs. Murdstone, Heep, Steerforth.
  • Uriah Heep's career, in some respects, parallels Copperfield's: they both come from impoverished backgrounds; they both establish legal professions; and they both aspire to marry their employer's daughter. How is Heep Copperfield's double? What does his, at times extreme, hatred of Heep reveal about Copperfield?
  • Blunderstone and Murdstone are two examples of names pregnant with meaning. Discuss the thematic significance of other names in the novel, especially those given to Copperfield throughout the bookDaisy, Trotwood, Doady. What do you make of the names that echo the author's own: Mr. Dick, King Charles I, and the initials (reversed) of Copperfield?
  • From the caul with which Copperfield is born (believed to protect one from drowning) to the shipwreck scene at the end, David Copperfield contains countless allusions to and images of the sea. How do these elements function in the novel? Do they indicate a deliberate use of symbolism? What might they symbolize?
  • The narrator relates several important dreams in the novel, particularly the dream he has after seeing Julius Caesar and the cannonading dream that prefigures the death of Steerforth. What do these dreams reveal about Copperfield's anxieties?
  • Customer Reviews

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    David Copperfield 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 197 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    So often people express reluctance to take on the great literature of the past because of the feeling that it's a little too much like taking medicine. 'I know that reading this 'classic' is good for me because it's a classic, or so I'm told.' This seems to dissuade many readers from approaching works such as David Copperfield. This summer I have read four Dicken's classics, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and Copperfield. Copperfield will reward any modern reader with its kaleidoscope of Victorian England, rich with humor and memorable characters. Allow yourself to become lost in the memories of this most famous of fictional autobiographers. The language of Dickens is always a pleasure as he wraps his florobundant prose around a cast of character's and scenes that are never boring and often are filled with humor and pathos, and sometimes both at the same time. It's hard to imagine the inward looking authors of the 20th Century Existing without the foundation of the inward novel from characters such as David Copperfield, Pip of Great Expectations and Esther of Bleak House. David's memories are filtered through his own perception and foreknowledge of what occurs in his life after. Dickens use of the first person narrative in telling David's story anchors you to David's reactions to the events of his life and connects you as a reader to similar events or relationships in your own life. Finally, people are always calling Dickens characters caricatures, but as you read about the Micawbers or Uriah Heep, or Dora and think they seem like immutable beings think about the characters in your own life and see how mutable they are, and Dickens caricatures, even 165 years later seem accurate and rooted in reality. Lastly, don't be fightened by the weight of this tome. Once Dickens envelops you in his world and his language, be it in this work or any of his others, you will glide through his works and reach for the next.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This novel is another reason Dickens is read generation after generation after generation. I certainly remember reading Dickens in school, but my appreciation for him has grown greater in my later years. There are probably many who grasp Dickens at the high school level and can enjoy him greatly however, it is not untill my later years that I have come to really enjoy him. This novel originally published in magazine form over a duration of time can at first seem long and daunting and yet it seemed in no time that I was able to finish it. The title character obviously is David Copperfield and it is somewhat a biographical sketch of the author Charles Dickens life. While the first of the novel can seem almost unbearbly painful with the character's father dying just several months before his birth and his aunt abondening the family immediatly after Copperfields birth, and the loss of his mother at a young age, things do get better. Dickens intorduces us to a cast of characters that are enjoyable and we get to follow along as David Copperfield goes through his own life. If you enjoyed Dickens in highschool than you are ahead of the game. If you did not enjoy Dickens in high shcool than give him another chance.
    KlassicKate More than 1 year ago
    There is a reason why Charles Dickens calls this book 'his favorite child'. What a fantastic read! This is truly a classic. Don't get hung up on the 'old English language' used. Just chug on through it. It's well worth it to take a month to read through this novel and get to know David, as well as the rest of the cast of characters that Dickens brings to life throughout each chapter. A well woven, well told story, that should be read by everyone at least once in his/her lifetime.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    After absolutely struggling to get through Great Expectations, i groaned when i had to read this book for school. However, I loved it from beginning to end. Dicken creates absolutely brilliant characters, some whom you will love, and some that you hate. all in all an excellent read.
    xMissMelaniex More than 1 year ago
    This was my first read of Charles Dickens writing and I loved it. His writing style makes you really have to ponder the point he is getting across. I always see a lot of humor in his writing and enjoy the characters thoroughly.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    You ppl who think this book was bad and thought it was hard to read.... honestly i think you are a bad student and have bad reading grades. I bet u didnt even TRY
    Krod More than 1 year ago
    Although I have only read two of Dickens's novels, which include this and the Tales of Two Cities, I must say that David Copperfield has surpassed my expectations and is now perhaps my favorite book. The author's way of communicating human emotions clearly and effectively has the reader completely hooked and very much in tears in most areas of the novel. Without ruining the novel for you, the story is basically about the life of a very young boy who grows up in a tough and tyrannical childhood. Eventually, he escapes this reality and  finds refuge in his aunt, in hopes of making a new beginning for himself and find true happiness.  Yes, I know the size of this novel seems formidable, but I do assure you that you WILL NOT be disappointed at ALL. The characters that Dickens brings out to life are truly memorable (my favorite characters are David, obviously, and Mr. Peggotty) I do advise if you  can to take notes because if you ever decide to reread this novel, it will be interesting to see how you thought years ago. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    David Copperfield is a long, interesting, dramatic journey through a boy's life. It takes you to his early childhood up to his adulthood. I'd say this a good book for not only for pleasure, but also for psychology purposes because the book sort of goes into detail about how all the difficult events he had gone through impacted him; for instance, when his mother died, finding out he had to go to boarding school for biting his stepfather those kind of things. The only thing I don't like about Charles Dickens's writing is that it's too lengthy and too flowery; but he is a good writer, very imaginative.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This edition, by B&N Classics, is extremely difficult to read. The print is small and the lines are very close to each other. I had to rate it only 3 stars for that reason (I would have given 5 otherwise). I bought this book because I have had other books from B&N Classics which were extremely readable. Other publishers usually have the same or similar print in all of their books, so I assumed that that would be the case with this edition of David Copperfield. I will have to buy another version to get through the remainder of the book. I will probably go with the Modern Library Classics version because their print is always readable.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is an awesome read, one of Dicken's best!
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    With its vivid descriptions of various episodes of David Copperfield's life, its remarkable cast of characters, its startling blend of humor and tragedy, and its intricate, well-woven tapestry of plots, this is Dickens at its best. This book is wonderful, and anyone that has ever fallen in love, suffered after a parent's remarriage, started off on their own career, or been betrayed by a friend will be able to relate to the narrator's experiences.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    David Copperfield is one of the most incredible novels I've ever come across. Charles Dicken's gift for writing manuscript is amazing. His use of words are intelligent, and constructed cleverly. If you wish to enjoyably stagger your vocabulary, read some remarkable conversations, or find yourself dubstruck at many intricate letters {written by Mr. Micawber} this is the book to have. I found it to have interesting characters, an excellent plot, and a captivating discourse. I highly recommend this treasure.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This is one of my favorite pieces of literature. A long book, but full of Dickens' classic style, and well worth it. Sad, funny, inspiring, etc. It tears at your emotions, you form strong opinions on the characters, and you get a look into Dickens' actual life. In my opinion, it is slightly better than A Tale of Two Cities. A true classic.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    'David Copperfield' is a sad but wonderful novel.It talks about a young boy left alone in the world with a cruel stepfather after his parents die!The step father sends him on his own to make his life at a young age so he runs to his aunt's house.He later on grows up in his humble aut's home until he had to go to school.He learned so much as he went to school ,David was a bright kid all threw his years,but always ran into bad luck for some reason.As a grown up Mr. Copperfield realizes all the difficulties of being an adult, but he still manages it.He later lives a life very well with three children and a lovely wife and nice friends. I think 'David Copperfield' should be past on down to others because it has so many life lessons in it.I refer this book to 'the Outsiders' because the moral of this novel is so strong.When I read this book i felt myself being one with Mr. Copperfield, a strong independent man that would be able to manage if left alone in a world.The book really did not sound good to read when i first picked it up but i read it anyway and im glad i didnt judge a book by its cover!
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This book is all about Davey and his life as he grows up. Full of humorous charactors and lessons that David learns as he grows up. Can be sad, happy and provokes anger at the charactors! I think it's an extremely well-written book, but only enjoyed by those who love old-time literature! But I absolutely loved it!
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    **ladies please... lets not get fiesty** She sits in the computer lab, watching the Twenty One Pilots Bandito tour and drinking a yoohoo.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    REMOVE THAT $HIT
    chrystal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    David Copperfield is the story of a young man¿s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; and the magnificently impecunious Micawber, one of literature¿s great comic creations. In David Copperfield¿the novel he described as his ¿favorite child¿¿Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.
    pickwick817 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This is the story of a boy growing up in England. At the begining his father has already passed away. Soon his mother remarries to a man who's only care is to treat David poorly with the presumed reason to bring him up correctly. Before long his mother dies too. His stepfather and his stepfathers evil sister then withdraw David from school, to send him to work for a friend. Thus freeing themselves of the expense of educating him. After a while working, in poor conditions, he runs away to find his long lost Aunt. Here his life takes a turn for the better. She sends him to school, with a plan for a career in law.
    john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    A marvellous roller coaster of a book, this semi-autobiographical novel contains all the emotions of life, the highs and lows, trials and tribulations of the eponymous hero. It's a big book, of course, but, unlike some other Dickens novels, its narrative drive is generally so strong that one can read it like a modern novel, so this took me just over two weeks to read, as opposed to the three weeks of the shorter Barnaby Rudge. Wonderful characters throughout. A genuine all time classic, with timeless things to say about love, loss, grief and other emotions.
    theboylatham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago

    Two out of ten.

    David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist.

    Boring.

    The_Hibernator on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    When young David Copperfield's mother dies, his awful stepfather sends him to a workhouse. David runs away to live with an estranged (and very strange) aunt. Much naughty and nice activity continues for a long time. :) I really liked David Copperfield. It was an engaging story, and (as always for Dickens) the characters were all so fascinating and well-developed. I'd say this is one of my favorite Dickens books so far.
    jnwelch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    "Of all my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD."Charles Dickens in the Preface to the 1867 Edition of David CopperfieldSentimental, full of tears and elation, oddball characters, prolixity, villains and heroes, angelic women and sinning men, oppressors and oppressed, con men and their victims, the steadfast and the persevering, the eloquent, the grandiloquent and the tongue-tied, all abetted by a multitude of monumental coincidences - David Copperfield is a sprawling wonder, pure addictive reading. We meet Dickens' favorite character as a baby, when his aunt Betsey Trotford is so annoyed he isn't a girl that she takes a swing at the doctor, and follow him as a young boy as he outlasts an abusive stepfather, a school where he is subjected to mockery and mistreatment, "cold neglect", a grinding warehouse job at age 10, and much more. There are periods of happiness, particularly idyllic days in Yarmouth by the sea with his mother's maid Pegotty and her earthy family, but his life turns in the right direction only when he manages to change the mind of aunt Betsey and she begins to see his redeeming qualities.Our narrator, David C. makes fun of his propensity to desperately fall in love, and recounts wonderful tales like the warm rapprochement between a cart-driver and Peggoty initiated by David, at the cart-driver's request, who informs Peggotty that "Barkis is willing". We meet the impassioned, voluble, good-hearted but perpetually destitute Mr. Micawber and his equally impassioned wife, sincere but always put upon Traddles, heartbroken Mr. Whitfield and his angelic daughter Agnes, the Achilles-like but misguided Steerforth, and many others, including of course the poker-stab-inviting Uriah Heep. (Throughout the story is enhanced by the old-fashioned illustrations by Hablot Browne). Repulsed by unctuous Uriah, Betsey Trotwood, in one of her many on-the-money comments, says, "If you're an eel, sir, conduct yourself like one. If you're a man, control your limbs, sir! I am not going to be serpentined and corkscrewed out of my senses!"David eventually falls for pretty little Dora, who adores her dog Jip: "if we were not all three in fairyland, certainly I was." The scent of a geranium reminds him of an early meeting with her: "I see a straw hat and blue ribbons, and a quantity of curls, and a little black dog being held up, in two slender arms, against a bank of blossoms and bright leaves." There are sore trials ahead, and nefarious doings, with romance gone awry for some and delayed for others, while our favorite continues to doggedly press ahead and maintain his well-balanced outlook. If his good sense ever begins to fail him, Agnes and Aunt Betsey come to his aid. When one relationship falters because David seeks too hard to "improve" his paramour, Aunt Betsey reminds him, "You have chosen freely for yourself, and have chosen a very pretty and very affectionate creature. It will be your duty, and it will be your pleasure, too . . . to estimate her (as you chose her) by the qualities she has, and not by the qualities she may not have." Sound advice for a healthy relationship. I'd give a lot to have an Aunt Betsey come visit our family. She's a wonderful character.Does everything come right in the end? Not everything, and there are tears throughout, but also triumphant successes. David's character has often been viewed as autobiographical, and we know some of what he endures matches Dickens' own early travails. Some of Dickens' success also comes to David. While the breadth of the story and the number of memorable characters is staggering, in the end there is an almost fairytale-like quality to the book and its paths that all lead to one another. Not just David, but the reader, is happily dr
    morryb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This novel is another reason Dickens is read generation after generation after generation. I certainly remember reading Dickens in school, by my appreciation for him has grown greater in my later years. There are probably many who grasp Dickens at the high school level and can enjoy him greatly, it is not until my later years that I have come to really enjoy him. This novel origianlly published in magazine form over a duration of time can at first seem long and daunting and yet is seemed in no time that I was able to finish it. The title character obviously is David Copperfield and this is somewhat of a autobiographical sketch of the author Charles Dickens life. (Notice the initials DC and CD). While the first of the novel can seem almost unbearably painful with the character's father dying just several months befor his birth and hiss aunt abandoning the family immediately after Copperfield's birth and the loss of his mother at at young age, things do get better. Dickens introduces us to a cast of characters that are enjoyable and we get to follow along as David Copperfield goes through his own life. If you enjoyed Dickens in high school, than you are ahead of the game. If you did not enjoy Dickens in high school, than give him another chance.
    carioca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    How is it possible to review David Copperfield? I think it is only fair to say that David Copperfield is my favorite Dickens work. And also the first I ever read of his, back when I was only a little girl. If I am not mistaken, I first read it when I was about 11 years old. I reread it many times since; I love this book. It is so rich, the characters are so magnificently drawn, and David himself seems to be the most charming, irresistible little boy. Dickens also did a pretty good job in combining tragedy with wit and madventure; David Copperfield is indeed a complete novel in every sense.