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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield (1850)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,795None222 (4.11)3 / 751
  1. 130
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (ncgraham)
  2. 90
    Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (aces)
  3. 20
    Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin (hazzabamboo)
    hazzabamboo: David Copperfield is partly autobiographical, and it's fascinating to compare it to Tomalin's fascinating, shrewd biography.
  4. 20
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Bildungsroman
  5. 10
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
  6. 10
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (kara.shamy)

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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Well, I've always enjoyed Dickens anyway, with my favorite still being Great Expectations, but this story now comes in a close second :) The story of Copperfield's life, from the night he was born, to the stage in his life where he is finally settled & prosperous is an eventful one. Along the way he meets some interesting characters, like Mr. Micawber, & the 2 villains of the tale, Murdstone & Heep. He finds friends that are true, like Tradderly, & the Peggotty clan, & ones that are false, like the charismatic Steerforth. This story is nevr boring, always down to earth, & the characters approachable.

If you've never read Dickens, this is a good place to start :) ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
I was thoroughly entertained by this and never found it a slog reading through its 800 plus pages--and that actually came as a surprise to me because I am by no means a Dickens fan. I decided to read this one because it's on the the list of 100 Significant Books I've been reading through--and because a friend told me that I should at least try this one before giving up on Dickens. This was actually his own favorite among his novels, and the one most autobiographical. Even knowing as little as I do of his life, I could certainly see plenty of parallels between the young Charles Dickens and David Copperfield. And especially given this was written in first person, this book has a confessional quality that drew me in and propelled me forward.

The thing is this novel I so enjoyed is guilty of every sin that so often drove me batty in Dickens: the rambling plot riddled with unlikely coincidences, the long, long length, the at times mawkish sentimentality, the phrases repeated again and again, the characterizations that often seemed more caricatures, and above all, the women characters that convince me Dickens thinks of the female gender as not quite human--or at least I felt so at first. David's mother Clara in particular drove me up the wall--I wanted to reach into the book and throttle her. It seemed to me in my reading of several of Dickens novels that his women run to four types or combinations and at first David Copperfield seemed no exception. There is the angelic creature who is often a victim, such as Clara, Little Em'ly, Agnes and Dora. There is the evil harridan such as Miss Murdstone or Rosa Dartle. There is the sacrificing Earth mother such as Peggoty. And finally, there is the (often rich) eccentric such as Betsy Trotwood. But ah, often the eccentric characters are so richly comic--and in the case of Trotwood there is more than initially met the eye--in fact I wasn't a third way through the novel before I loved her. And Agnes grew on me too. Not everyone's reaction--George Orwell, among others, despised the character. But she was the first female character who struck me as being a rational creature. But they're memorable--and not just the women. I don't think I'm ever going to forget Mr Micawber. I know I'll never forget Uriah Heep, the most odious, shudder-worthy villain I've met in literature.

So yes, after this book I got more of a sense of Dickens' charms. A Christmas Carol has been a favorite since childhood. And I did love Great Expectations--till the end, which I found a bit of a cheat. But I hated Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities. It's David Copperfield that's convinced me I should try more of Dickens. It was worth traversing its long and winding length. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | Feb 28, 2014 |
David Copperfield adores his sweet widowed mother and their servant Peggotty, and his early childhood passes easily in quiet contentment. However, when his mother marries her second husband, a cruel man named Edward Murdstone who is convinced that David is lazy and stupid. He eventually convinces the boy's mother to send the child away to a boarding school. There, David makes new friends and finds a hero in this classmate James Steerforth. His mother eventually gives birth to a son, but both she and the baby die soon afterward. Murdstone, not caring about David, ships him off to work for a wine merchant amidst miserable conditions. David eventually runs away to find his estranged aunt and begs her to allow him to stay with her; she agrees and helps David complete his education. But David's troubles do not end as he grows older as one tragedy after the next strike his friends and family.

Of all the novels of Charles Dickens, it's said that David Copperfield is the most autobiographical. Like his young protagonist, Dickens was raised in a middle-class household, but fell into poverty and had to leave school early to work. I think that this is part of the reason why the characters in the book are so well-portrayed. In only a few sentences, Dickens is able to present an entire personality and hint at a man's character and intentions. For example, on his way to London David eats a meal at an inn where the server tricks him into giving up most of his food and paying extra, besides. The waiter's scene lasts only a few pages, but his manipulative character and personable approach to fleecing poor David is very memorable.

The book was originally written as a serial, and this gave the novel a certain cadence and information is sometimes repeated multiple times. It's rather episodic, in fact, but even so the strong characterization and convoluted plot twists make it hard to put down. By the end of the long story, nearly every plot thread is resolved and neatly tied up, and the journey getting there proves very satisfying and fulfilling. ( )
  makaiju | Feb 24, 2014 |
The first time I've read a book on the recommendation of a fictional character in another novel. The main character in Per Petterson's 'Out Stealing Horses' re-reads David Copperfield regularly and finds it inspiring for his approach to life. I hadn't read any Dickens since school days so when I saw it in a charity shop I thought 'why not?'. And I'm glad I did. A 700 odd page meander through the life of David Copperfield is known to be a heavily fictionalised and romanticised autobiographical novel by Dickens. What a pleasure it is to wade through the high Victorian mannered and florid language at such a leisurely pace. Characters sculptured rather than sketched so it's no wonder they have endured as much as those in Shakespeare. Great also to get a view of life in the mid 19th century. Pre-electronic and pre-motor car life was nevertheless full and varied. But with it a clue to the sytle of writing. Long and leisurely. How else to fill the evenings? ( )
1 vote Steve38 | Nov 29, 2013 |
This is a wonderful novel, in which David feels like a real person, unlike many of Dickens’ characters. As a reader, I sympathized with his painful childhood, the vicious characters he has to survive, his mistakes and what he learns from them. As he begins to mature, I felt, yes, he’s growing up, and he’ll be okay. The development of David, in association with so many extraordinary and memorable characters, lets you overlook the plot devices and improbable coincidences that Dickens uses to move the story in the direction he wants to take it. And what characters – among Dickens’ most inspired. (Is snake-like Uriah Heep really the inspiration for Harry Potter’s snaky enemies? Rowling seems to have a Dickens-like love of incident and odd characters.) And even though the trajectory is perfectly obvious, it remains satisfying because David is a character you’d like to know as a friend. After reading over 700 pages, it’s a bit sad to have it end. ( )
  rab1953 | Nov 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Austen, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buck Jr., Philo MelvynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, George H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunnarsson, JakobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EdgarAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, EdithEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Edithsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Affectionately inscribed to the Hon. Mr and Mrs Richard Watson, of Rockingham, Northamptonshire
First words
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.
I shall never desert Mr. Micawber
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for David Copperfield. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, student edition, etc. If this is your book but you have an abridged or adapted version, please update your title and ISBN, so that your book can be combined with the correct abridgement or adaptation.
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blurb; Here is one of the greatest books of all time, a book whose magnificent scope and narrative power have captivated readers for over a hundred years, and will continue to do so as long as man can read.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140439447, Paperback)

Beginning in 1854 up through to his death in 1870, Charles Dickens abridged and adapted many of his more popular works and performed them as staged readings. This version, each page illustrated with lovely watercolor paintings, is a beautiful example of one of these adaptations.

Because it is quite seriously abridged, the story concentrates primarily on the extended family of Mr. Peggotty: his orphaned nephew, Ham; his adopted niece, Little Emily; and Mrs. Gummidge, self-described as "a lone lorn creetur and everythink went contrairy with her." When Little Emily runs away with Copperfield's former schoolmate, leaving Mr. Peggotty completely brokenhearted, the whole family is thrown into turmoil. But Dickens weaves some comic relief throughout the story with the introduction of Mr. and Mrs. Micawber, and David's love for his pretty, silly "child-wife," Dora. Dark nights, mysterious locations, and the final destructive storm provide classic Dickensian drama. Although this is not David Copperfield in its entirety, it is a great introduction to the world and the language of Charles Dickens.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:54 -0400)

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A young boy in nineteenth-century London runs away from an unhappy home, finds employment in a wine factory, and becomes acquainted with a wide variety of characters in the city streets.

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Penguin Australia

Four editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439447, 0141031751, 0141199164, 0141343826

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