David Copperfield

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Cover, first serial edition of 1849.
Monthly: May 1849 – November 1850

David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens. Like his other novels, it first came out as a series in a magazine under the title The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery.[1]

The story is told in the first person. Some of the greatest Dickens characters appear in the novel, such as the evil clerk Uriah Heep. Other villains in David's life are his brutal stepfather, Edward Murdstone, and Mr. Creakle, the headmaster of the boarding school that Murdstone sends him to.

The evil characters are balanced by the good characters, such as Peggotty – the faithful servant of the Copperfield family and a lifelong companion to David. Others include David's aunt Betsy Trotwood and her friend Mr. Dick. Agnes Wickfield is a close friend of David since childhood, and later becomes David's second wife and mother of their children. Mr. Micawber is a gentle and friendly man who goes to debtors' prison, but in the end makes a success as a sheep farmer in Australia. He is based on Dickens's own father.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Dickens invented over 14 variations of the title for this work, see "Titles, Titling, and Entitlement to", by Hazard Adams in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Autumn, 1987), pp. 7–21
  2. Barry Westburg 1977. The confessional fictions of Charles Dickens. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. See pages 33 to 114