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David Copperfield (1850)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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17,534223200 (4.09)4 / 1144
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)
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    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
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    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
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    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
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English (207)  Spanish (6)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
This is the classic, ultimate, quintessential, coming of age story. There are ups and downs, trials and tribulations. But fear not, the good guys finally triumph and the bad guys get their just deserts, eventually. There are lots of side trips which keep us wondering where is this going next, who is going to pop up once again. Yes you thought we had dealt with them but hold on, here's another go at it. You come across lines you've long known about such as "Barkis is willing" and the unctuous Uriah Heep. They've entered the culture long ago and now you know where they came from.

Dickens' writing is amazing. Not only does he keep us interested - we have to know how this turns out, but he is also constantly inserting a phrase or situation which you recognize from many, even hundreds, of pages earlier. Either he had an excellent and highly attentive editor or a way above average memory. Or then maybe he planned far ahead. Who knows, it just works. This work is considered his most autobiographical. The central character does eventually become a famous writer. One part of this story seemed less well put together. Here was this committed struggler, hard working, etc., who falls in love with a flighty self styled air head while passing up considerably more suitable, hard working others right in sight. Years after the death of the one he suffered for, her with her unrestrained no need to bother attitude, he eventually does marry the one he should have all along. Never clear why he was looking elsewhere for much of this story. Dickens is well known for being very dismissive and eventually divorcing his first wife and taking up with a much younger actress. This happened after this book was published but the novel seems to suggest perhaps the die was cast long before.

Be prepared for a time warp. This was published more than 150 years ago and it shows in everything that happens. There is debtor prison, orphanages, a highly structured class oriented society, misogamy, smoking, drinking, and tons and tons of superlatives and otherwise language which curdles quickly. There are horses and coaches, gardens, calling cards, mail delivered the same day, many letters, and many, many signs of days gone by. And because this is Britain, there's India and Australia both in service to the British way of life. India as the place to deal with wayward sons and Australia where riff raff can make another go of it. Zero concern for the natives. But the timeless truths are there making this a worthwhile, enjoyable read whenever you get to it. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Mar 26, 2021 |
One of Dickens’ most famous novels introducing the reader to some of his most famous characters; the chaotic Mr Micawber, the manipulative Steerforth, the joyless, life sucking Murdstones, the intially fearsome but quickly turns out to be a rock, Betsy Trotwood and the villainous, slimy Uriah Heep. It is a rare achievement to be pull off a first person narrative with such style accepting that David Copperfield is sometimes not seeing things that Dickens manages to convey to his reader; that Steerforth is a bully and Traddles is a much more reliable friend-as comes to pass; that the first marriage is a big mistake and we are all know who he should be marrying-it takes the last few pages before it all comes right. And despite the wonderful descriptions of Uriah Heep’s fawning and declarations of ‘umbleness’ and his alarming appearance there is a little part of us that whispers ‘ his start in life, the social mores of the time...made him like this...no wonder he has a huge chip on his shoulder’. Not sure if Dickens intended this. I actually wanted to give the book 4.5 stars, criticising only a few tangents that got me lost for a while. And I would loved to have seen more of Mrs Mowcher. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
David Copperfield is a classic: character driven and autobiographical in nature. Dickens illustrates the varying sides of human nature; how we all have faults. His portrayal of young David as a naïve child is brilliant. I could picture the boy being unreasonably afraid of a large bird because he acted just as I had when confronted with a gigantic angry fowl; or when Copperfield was bored at church and nearly falling asleep, slipping off his pew; or when he didn’t realize the adults were openly discussing him. His innocence is at the heart of his personality. As David matures and enters adulthood he learns relationships often fail and the motive of some people are not always pure at heart. Malicious people are everywhere. In the end (and I do mean the very end) Copperfield finds true happiness. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Feb 27, 2021 |
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
As with all of Dickens, it is the characters that make the book. Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Mr. Peggotty, Peggotty, Mis Trotwood, etc. I did lose patience with David from time to time, particularly in his romantic idiocy, bu, on the whole it is an enjoyable book. ( )
  DrApple | Dec 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (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 (227 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armitage, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome 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.
I shall never desert Mr. Micawber.
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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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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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Average: (4.09)
0.5 3
1 36
1.5 5
2 121
2.5 26
3 457
3.5 101
4 978
4.5 118
5 1135

Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439447, 0141031751, 0141199164, 0141343826

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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