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David Copperfield (Penguin Classics) by…
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David Copperfield (Penguin Classics) (original 1850; edition 2004)

by Charles Dickens (Author)

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16,948215201 (4.1)4 / 1138
Charles Dickens' 1850 classic epic, David Copperfield, unfolds the story of David, an optimistic and hard-working lad who's orphaned in his youth. Raised initially by his brutal stepfather, who halts David's schooling and sends him to work in a factory, David eventually finds a home with his eccentric, but kind aunt, Betsey. Later in life, David trains for a career in law, but eventually becomes a writer.… (more)
Member:PDCW
Title:David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Charles Dickens (Author)
Info:Penguin Classics (2004), Edition: Revised ed., 1024 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, Classic Literature

Work details

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)

  1. 161
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (ncgraham)
  2. 100
    Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (aces)
  3. 50
    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. 30
    Dickens' London by Charles Dickens (BINDINGSTHATLAST)
  5. 20
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
  6. 20
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Bildungsroman
  7. 10
    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens reworked the ideas around self-sacrifice that he used in The Battle of Life into a full length novel
  8. 11
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
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Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
I read this shortly after seeing the Armando Ianucci film of it, which perhaps did it a bit of disservice as I was constantly thinking about the actors in the film and where they had changed around the story, mainly to cut down a very long book into a reasonable length of film. Overall it's a great read, a big joy of a book where David Copperfield moves through a life of misfortune with great stoicism and acceptance. It's not all bad, he does well and finds some great friends and family to move through life with, but he certainly has his share of setbacks too. The characters are very much larger than life, Uriah Heep being a particularly loathsome specimen, and Betsy Trotwood being fabulously memorable. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 30, 2020 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: David Copperfield
Series: ----------
Author: Charles Dickens
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 853
Words: 357.5K

Synopsis:


From Wikipedia

The story follows the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity. David was born in Blunderstone, Suffolk, England, six months after the death of his father. David spends his early years in relative happiness with his loving, childish mother and their kindly housekeeper, Clara Peggotty. They call him Davy. When he is seven years old his mother marries Edward Murdstone. To get him out of the way, David is sent to lodge with Peggotty's family in Yarmouth. Her brother, fisherman Mr Peggotty, lives in a beached barge, with his adopted relatives Emily and Ham, and an elderly widow, Mrs Gummidge. "Little Em'ly" is somewhat spoiled by her fond foster father, and David is in love with her. They call him Master Copperfield.

On his return, David is given good reason to dislike his stepfather, who believes exclusively in firmness, and has similar feelings for Murdstone's sister Jane, who moves into the house soon afterwards. Between them they tyrannize his poor mother, making her and David's lives miserable, and when, in consequence, David falls behind in his studies, Murdstone attempts to thrash him – partly to further pain his mother. David bites him and soon afterwards is sent away to Salem House, a boarding school, under a ruthless headmaster named Mr Creakle. There he befriends an older boy, James Steerforth, and Tommy Traddles. He develops an impassioned admiration for Steerforth, perceiving him as someone noble, who could do great things if he would, and one who pays attention to him.

David goes home for the holidays to learn that his mother has given birth to a baby boy. Shortly after David returns to Salem House, his mother and her baby die, and David returns home immediately. Peggotty marries the local carrier, Mr Barkis. Murdstone sends David to work for a wine merchant in London – a business of which Murdstone is a joint owner. David's landlord, Wilkins Micawber, is arrested for debt and sent to the King's Bench Prison, where he remains for several months, before being released and moving to Plymouth. No one remains to care for David in London, so he decides to run away, with Micawber advising him to head to Dover, to find his only known remaining relative, his eccentric and kind-hearted great-aunt Betsey Trotwood. She had come to Blunderstone at his birth, only to depart in ire upon learning that he was not a girl. However, she takes pity on him and agrees to raise him, despite Murdstone's attempt to regain custody of David, on condition that he always try to 'be as like his sister, Betsey Trotwood' as he can be, meaning that he is to endeavour to emulate the prospective namesake she was disappointed not to have. David's great-aunt renames him "Trotwood Copperfield" and addresses him as "Trot", one of several names David is called by in the novel.

David's aunt sends him to a better school than the last he attended. It is run by Dr Strong, whose methods inculcate honour and self-reliance in his pupils. During term, David lodges with the lawyer Mr Wickfield, and his daughter Agnes, who becomes David's friend and confidante. Wickfield's clerk, Uriah Heep, also lives at the house.

By devious means, Uriah Heep gradually gains a complete ascendancy over the aging and alcoholic Wickfield, to Agnes's great sorrow. Heep hopes, and maliciously confides to David, that he aspires to marry Agnes. Ultimately with the aid of Micawber, who has been employed by Heep as a secretary, his fraudulent behaviour is revealed. At the end of the book, David encounters him in prison, convicted of attempting to defraud the Bank of England.

After completing school, David apprentices to be a proctor. During this time, due to Heep's fraudulent activities, his aunt's fortune has diminished. David toils to make a living. He works mornings and evenings for his former teacher Doctor Strong as a secretary, and also starts to learn shorthand, with the help of his old school-friend Traddles, upon completion reporting parliamentary debate for a newspaper. With considerable moral support from Agnes and his own great diligence and hard work, David ultimately finds fame and fortune as an author, writing fiction.

David's romantic but self-serving school friend, Steerforth, also re-acquaints himself with David, but then goes on to seduce and dishonour Emily, offering to marry her off to his manservant Littimer before deserting her in Europe. Her uncle Mr Peggotty manages to find her with the help of Martha, who had grown up in their part of England, and then settled in London. Ham, who had been engaged to marry Emily before the tragedy, dies in a fierce storm off the coast in attempting to succour a ship. Steerforth was aboard the ship and also died. Mr Peggotty takes Emily to a new life in Australia, accompanied by Mrs Gummidge and the Micawbers, where all eventually find security and happiness.

David, meanwhile, has fallen completely in love with Dora Spenlow, and then marries her. Their marriage proves troublesome for David in the sense of everyday practical affairs, but he never stops loving her. Dora dies early in their marriage after a miscarriage. After Dora's death, Agnes encourages David to return to normal life and his profession of writing. While living in Switzerland to dispel his grief over so many losses, David realises that he loves Agnes. Upon returning to England, after a failed attempt to conceal his feelings, David finds that Agnes loves him too. They quickly marry and in this marriage, he finds true happiness. David and Agnes then have at least five children, including a daughter named after his great-aunt, Betsey Trotwood.

My Thoughts:

I don't know how to write this review without resorting to manly beating of my chest and loud hollering of execrations against my enemies in jubilation of their downfall.

Dickens' strength is in his characters. This book showcases some of his best characters in my opinion. From the titular character of David Copperfield to the child wife Dora to the competent Agnes to the never quite his fault Mr Micawber to the sniveling Uria Heep to the selfishly evil Steersforth. Dickens makes every single one of them a real person that you can think is real.

I also appreciated that Copperfield wasn't a golden boy. He had a hard life and had some pretty bad things happen to him. But it made the happy ending all the sweeter. I NEED the majority of my books to have happy endings of one sort or another. Or at least the chance for a happy ending. I think that is what I like so much about Dickens' writing. He knows that people need a happy ending in their stories and he's not afraid to give it to them.

Dickens also isn't afraid to face the very nature of human nature. He realizes some people are just downright evil and he writes his characters that way. He doesn't make excuses for people like Uriah Heep or Steersforth, he simply portrays them as they are. While evil can be abstract in ideas and philosophies, it can also be personified in a character.

And that turns out to be all I have to say. I've been staring at the screen for almost 30 minutes and nothing else comes to mind. While I enjoyed Dickens earlier in life, I have never enjoyed him more than now. This only excites me about reading him again in another 10-15 years!

★★★★★ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Jul 24, 2020 |
I love Dickens. He tells a good story. This is sadder than I thought it would be, but the characters are interesting. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Until a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would never ever read this - nearly 1000 pages of Dickens? NEVER. Oh, the things one does for points in a team challenge...

Turns out this is really good, and I wasn't ever bored throughout the whole thing! And I read all of it within a week! The wonderful audiobook narration by Richard Armitage (which I listened to while reading) most definitely had something to do with that - and after about 100 pages, I even stopped picturing Mr Thornton the whole time.

While Pip in Great Expectations annoyed me from time to time, I really liked the character of David Copperfield! Following him and his friends (and enemies) throughout so many years was really fun and I enjoyed how their paths intersected time and time again - though I also could've done without some of these people (the 'umble Uriah Heep, first and foremost, the Murdstones as well, and Mr Micawber too, to be quite honest... and Steerforth, of course!), but what would the story have been without those? Betsey Trotwood and Mr Dick were always a delight whenever they showed up, nobody in here made me laugh like Betsey Trotwood did! And Agnes, I'm so glad that she got her happy ending in the end.
( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
Written in 1850, Dickens' 16th major work, and 8th novel, is a solid four-star work. Combining the picaresque bildungsroman from Dickens' early period with the more complex character studies he was becoming known for, it's perhaps his best book to this point. Perhaps because parts of the novel are autobiographical, David starts to feel a bit real in a sense that perhaps no other character in his canon had perhaps yet reached. There's a wonderful array of supporting characters and a real sense of forward movement and thematic unity. I'm ultimately more in tune with Dickens' last works, but David Copperfield is another rung on Dickens' ladder to immortality. He's not a Tolstoy or a Flaubert, and we shouldn't expect him to be. He treats character more as something to be chronicled than to be dissected. Nevertheless, there are many great, detailed little moments in David's life, and the world around him, that suggest the continuous development of this great author. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
David Copperfield relates the story of his life - transmuting many of the early experience of his creator - right from his birth to his attainment of settled maturity and successful authorship. On his journey, David encounters a gallery of memorable characters, kind, cruel or grotesque: Mr Micawber, Uriah Heep and Steerforth are among the many who shape his development.

By turns absorbingly comic, dramatic, ironic and tender, the novel brings into energetic life the society and preoccupations of the mid-Victorian world
added by letonia | editPenguin Popular Classics
 

» Add other authors (228 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Austen, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blount, TrevorForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boulton, NicholasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buck Jr., Philo MelvynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Degen, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, George H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunnarsson, JakobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, KathyrnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EdgarAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malden, R. H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhizIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, EdithEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tambling, JeremyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary 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.
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I shall never desert Mr. Micawber.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Charles Dickens' 1850 classic epic, David Copperfield, unfolds the story of David, an optimistic and hard-working lad who's orphaned in his youth. Raised initially by his brutal stepfather, who halts David's schooling and sends him to work in a factory, David eventually finds a home with his eccentric, but kind aunt, Betsey. Later in life, David trains for a career in law, but eventually becomes a writer.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439447, 0141031751, 0141199164, 0141343826

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