Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “David Copperfield” as Want to Read:
David Copperfield
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

David Copperfield

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  207,105 ratings  ·  7,148 reviews
Hugely admired by Tolstoy, David Copperfield is the novel that draws most closely from Charles Dickens's own life. Its eponymous hero, orphaned as a boy, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains. Praising Dickens's power of invention, Somerset Maugham wrote: "There were never such people as the Micawb ...more
Paperback, 821 pages
Published November 28th 2000 by Modern Library (first published 1850)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about David Copperfield, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Huda Aweys Of course there are similarities between the life of Charles Dickens and the novel, to some extent, as in all his novels often, but this particular st…moreOf course there are similarities between the life of Charles Dickens and the novel, to some extent, as in all his novels often, but this particular story actually the closest resemblance to his life(less)
Doruntina Bërbatovci Yes, definitely. Eventhough I've read it for the purpose of some analysis, I would strongly define it as a book one should read in his early years.…moreYes, definitely. Eventhough I've read it for the purpose of some analysis, I would strongly define it as a book one should read in his early years.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  207,105 ratings  ·  7,148 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of David Copperfield
mark monday
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing

oh you architect of doom!

your devious passivity and willful naivete know no boundaries!
your crimes are many!

your poor doting mother - hustled off to an early grave, and you do nothing!
you repay the Murdstones' attempts at improvement with intransigence and a savage bite!
you return Mr. Creakle's guiding hand with laziness and scorn!
you do nothing as your idol Steerforth humiliates Mr. Mell!
you run from honest work in a factory! you must be too good for that!
you im
Joey Woolfardis
Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

Charles Dickens can do no wrong, except perhaps keep around 100 pages of rather irrelevant tangents in this book.

It was such a powerhouse of characterisation and world-building that I barely know where to begin. All of the characters were utterly divine, even the detestable Uriah Heep and the unbelievably pathetic Dora, and most especially the wonderful early Feminist icon that is Betsy Trotwood. I o
Ahmad Sharabiani
898. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens. The novel's full title is The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account). It was first published as a serial in 1849–50, and as a book in 1850.

Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens's own life, and it is often considered as his veiled autobiography. It was Dickens' fa
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely everybody with no exception!
Recommended to Dolors by: A wise friend
“This narrative is my written memory”, declares David Copperfield in the last section of this elephantine novel, a sentence that strongly implies an autobiographical imprint of the author in the making of his famous middle-class hero. But is that aspect what I most value of this work?
Far from it.
This thick volume is quite an ambitious journey: partly a comic story, which often verges on a tale for children, and partly a picaresque book tinged with distinctive dramatic intention that fluctuates
Violet wells
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Call it an act of heresy but I’m abandoning this. I’ve got to page 600 which means I’ve only another 150 pages to go but I’ve completely lost interest. The characters are too one dimensional and you can see the plot coming as if it’s daubed in road marking paint. I’ve read all of Dickens’ novels except the early ones and mostly loved them except for Tale of two Cities and the reason I’d never read this was I believed, mistakenly, it was another early one. However it reads like an early one, so I ...more
Sean Barrs
David Copperfield is a story about growing up.

It is a story about understanding people; it is a story about understanding that our perceptions of people do not always match the reality of that person. We can idealise them. We can believe in them. We can love them. But that does not necessarily mean they are what we believe them to be or what we want them to be.

In classic Dickensian fashion, this is not a happy story; it is one full of hardship and harsh realisations, but it is also one of growth
“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.”

Warning: Following is somewhat of a “non-review”. I don’t have the stamina to write properly about this one at this time. There are plenty of other splendid, erudite assessments on this site if you are so inclined (and which I highly recommend!)

As a teen, I came across a box of old books in my parent’s basement. This was very intriguing to me, as neither of my par
mark monday
Status Report: Chapters 1 - 8

i had forgotten how much i love Dickens. the man is a master at the immersive experience. it is really easy for me to get sucked into the world he is so carefully constructing, to revel in all the extensive details, the lavish description, the almost overripe imagination at work. his strength at creating a wide range of entirely lived-in settings (both brief snapshots of places in passing and crucial places like David's home and school) is equalled by his even more f
Barry Pierce
David Copperfield is an early queer novel by Charles Dickens. It follows David Copperfield, a gay man in early 19th century England, as he tries to seduce and betroth another gay man, James Steerforth. Copperfield first sets his eyes on Steerforth at Salem House where they both must subdue their love for each other, giving their age difference and the society of the time. However, as the novel progresses, Copperfield and Steerforth live openly as a homosexual couple.

Their relationship comes int
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers, innocents, justice seekers, and those who are depressed
"I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD"
I have also a favorite author and his name is Charles Dickens.

This novel is poetry. To truly appreciate the beauty of the English language, one must read David Copperfield. This book cannot be classified. It is a love story, a drama, and a comedy. It has elements of horror and suspense. I laughed hysterically, sobbed uncontrollably, and threw it to a wall in a fit of anger. It annoyed, bored, and entrapped me.
Em Lost In Books
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Em Lost In Books by: Srividya
My first Dickens, this book came highly recommended to me and after jumping around this for almost three years I finally managed to read it this time. This book was also a big achievement for me in terms of classics last year. I started three classics, putting them on halt for other books at different times. This is the only tome (classic) that I finished. So yeah, it was a huge achievement for me, especially because I loved it.

So am not going to write here what this book is about as almost ever
In your reading life you encounter all sorts of books; books you like; books you love; and books perhaps you wish not to have come your way. On rare occasions, you come across a book, which you feel privileged to have read. David Copperfield undoubtedly falls into this rare category.

The book needs no praise from me. It is only yet another addition to the millions of readers who have loved and appreciated this great work from the time of its first publication. Charles Dickens himself had said th
Bravo, Dickens!

I have to say that, copying Thackaray for the millionth time, probably. What a difference to read the original, compared to the watered-down versions I was familiar with from my childhood. It took me quite a lot of time to get into the rich flow of words, the beautiful allusions, and the dry humour, but then I was hooked. My family will always remember the Christmas vacation when I was in a rage against Uriah Heep, not able to contain my anger, sharing my frustration loudly!

Kimber Silver
"Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest."
–Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

When I began my journey with David Copperfield, I could hardly have expected the emotion that this book would wring from me.

The story opens just before David’s birth and progresses throughout his lifetime. I laughed along with him and hi
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child, and his name is David Copperfield" - Charles Dickens.
As a HUGE fan of Sir Charles Dickens, I can't say this is a normal book. This is his most personal one, according to himself.
Why 4 out of 5 stars? Because it was kind of difficult to digest it a bit, I had to go through some pages more than once and try to get the origin of some characters, but most of them are in my head now. Easy to fall in love with them, and the story itself is kind of unfor
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can be said of David Copperfield that hasn't been said before? David Copperfield is the Sgt Pepper of Charles Dickens, some might say of English literature. I've been told that the book is funny. But I think the book is as funny as Superman. If stand up comedians based their material on David Copperfield, they wouldn't make a living.

For it's bulk, the book does fast forward a lot. When David is stricken with grief as an adult he goes away writes a lot and becomes famous. How, I don't know.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the majority of this over the course of 4 days snowed in under 2 or so feet of blizzard and its dimming snowlight day's circular repetition, in a new house, often in near silence only punctuated by winter robins chirping outside, in between making pots of coffee and organizing my books and music and furniture. I can think of few more delightful states in which to absorb this classic Bildungsroman, which appears to be one of that genre of book called Perfect Novel. Shall I read more Dickens? ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Copperfield is a convolutedly grotesque and darkly satirical Bildungsroman.
First of all, David Copperfield is a colourful collection of inimitable characters. And we pass through this flowery assembly as through the gallery of images taken from Hieronymus Bosch’s canvases…
The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood, darkened the Murdstone religion, which was austere and wrathful. I have thought, since, that its assuming that character was a necessary consequence of Mr. Murdstone’s fir
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, my-reviews
I picked up this book in a bookstore (if you can believe it), not really thinking I'd buy such a big pile of pages in classical English, figuring it would bore the hell out of me.

I read the first page.

I then proceeded to the counter, and bought it.

This is the beginning of my love story with "David Copperfield", an absolute favorite. It takes a particular mindset to read it I think, so it took me a while to finish it, matching my reading moments with that mindset as much as possible. You need a
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4+ stars. Charles Dickens has an amazing (if long-winded) way with words.

We follow David Copperfield from his very youngest days as a baby, through boyhood (featuring his childlike mother and cruel stepfather), school days (starring opposite friends Steerforth and Traddles), unhappy child worker, falling in love with a lovely but frustratingly dim young lady (echoes of his mother), and young manhood.

A few of the characters in this semi-autobiographical novel are Victorian stereotypes, but othe
MJ Nicholls
Finished. Having a hard time spinning superlatives for this review. It is more or less established I strongly like, or passionately love, every Dickens novel I read so why not slap a five-star badge on this masterpiece and hop down to Bev’s café for a veggie burger, free sexual innuendo with every purchase, a fly in every milkshake, and a 50p discount on all half-cooked omelettes? Fine. Some highlights. Improvements in characterisation. Notably, the villains. David’s friendship with Steerforth p ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
da AL
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-literary
Anything from Dickens is amazing!
Oh, how I love Charles Dickens’ writing; what a genius! There is no doubt why David Copperfield is a classic. Every thought is so clever, serene, and humorous. I was transported into another place and time and felt a warmth and comfort like sinking deep into a down-filled bed every time I picked up this book to read a chapter or two. You talk about escapism -- this was it for me completely. Charles Dickens has entertained with his many stories for centuries and will continue for many more to com ...more
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ownebook, to-reread
I finished reading David Copperfield on the Kindle a few days ago.

I’m not an English major, and so I’m not going to pretend to be one. I’m not going to discuss what themes the book touches on, what category it fits in, or generally dissect it to the point where it’s more monotonous than fun.

I read the book because I wanted to, not because I had to write a paper about it.

I must say, first of all, that this has got to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. The vivid descriptions of the character
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
So, Dickens, the most beloved English author since Shakespeare. How good is he? Is he as good as Tolstoy? No, he's not as good as Tolstoy. As good as Dumas? No. Hugo? Let's call it a tie. What about other Brits? Well, he's not even close to George Eliot. He's about as good as Thomas Hardy.

He has a better feel for what it's like to be poor than most of those authors, and that's a big plus for him; even if you don't like poor people, Dickens' willingness to dive into the alleys makes a nice change
Roy Lotz
“It was as true,” said Mr. Barkis, “as turnips is. It was as true,” Mr. Barkis said, nodding his nightcap, which was his only means of emphasis, “as taxes is. And nothing’s truer than them.”

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. From the first page to the last, I was having a damned good time. I even made quite a bother of myself several times among friends and family, imitating my favorite characters, only to get blank stares and polite smiles, as I realized that not one among them had read t
Megan Baxter
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Copperfield is one of my favourite Dickens' books, and I tend to enjoy Dickens quite a lot. It's not a perfect book by any means, and on this read, I noticed that it lagged in the middle. (I suddenly found it much harder to pick up and was more easily distracted by the graphic novels that are my husband's bathroom reading materials.) But it picked up again by the end.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
What a lovely story! I am always interested in the way Dickens depicts so masterly the big difference between the living conditions of the rich and the poor! It reminds me that I should be more compassionate with people around me!
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it

Charles Dickens
by Dorothy Parker
Who call him spurious and shoddy
Shall do it o'er my lifeless body.
I heartily invite such birds
To come outside and say those words!

I would like to avoid a close encounter with Dorothy Parker’s ghost at all costs – although I bet it is as witty and smart as she was! – so let us put down the curtain of silence on:

☛ My severe mid-novel crisis when I considered ditching David Copperfield.

☛ All the moments when I felt exhausted with Dickens’ ve
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Club de Lectura: Expectativas 2 2 May 09, 2021 08:35AM  
Catching up on Cl...: David Copperfield: First Impressions, NO Spoilers 57 278 Apr 23, 2021 04:36AM  
Did you enjoy it and how much 5 22 Apr 16, 2021 04:27AM  
The Old Curiosity...: DC, Chp. 51-53 108 19 Dec 22, 2020 08:40PM  
The Old Curiosity...: DC, Chp. 47-50 102 13 Dec 20, 2020 02:57AM  
The Old Curiosity...: DC, Chp. 41-43 65 13 Dec 13, 2020 11:26AM  
The Old Curiosity...: DC, Chp. 38-40 108 16 Dec 12, 2020 03:03PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe #1)
  • The Man In The Iron Mask
  • Middlemarch
  • The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Moby-Dick or, the Whale
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Treasure Island
  • Vanity Fair
  • 15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #3)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Mansfield Park
  • The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
  • Les Misérables
  • Around the World in Eighty Days
  • War and Peace
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.


Articles featuring this book

We all have our reading bucket lists. James Mustich's 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is bound to seriously expand that list...
117 likes · 55 comments
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” 873 likes
“My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.” 658 likes
More quotes…