Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

David Copperfield

Rate this book
David Copperfield is the story of a young man's adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature's great comic creations. In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his 'favourite child' - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by 'Phiz', a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel's autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity.

882 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1850

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Charles Dickens

15.7k books27.2k followers
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) 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.

Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.

Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens's creative genius has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.

On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home after a full day's work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day he died at Gad's Hill Place. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral "in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner," he was laid to rest in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads: "To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England's most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years. He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world." His last words were: "On the ground", in response to his sister-in-law Georgina's request that he lie down.

(from Wikipedia)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
86,742 (38%)
4 stars
78,469 (34%)
3 stars
45,750 (20%)
2 stars
11,698 (5%)
1 star
4,215 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,829 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
402 reviews3,503 followers
February 11, 2023
Money can't buy you love (but it can keep you out of debtor's prison)

David Copperfield is a fictional biography of the life of David Copperfield starting with his birth. David has a very unhappy childhood, subject to much torment. How will this shape and mold David? On whom can he rely? How will Mr. Copperfield turn out?

What is the best part of going on vacation? Certainly not the one week of the vacation but the year in advance thinking about vacation. When the day is drizzling and the sun hasn't made an appearance for several weeks, when my heart is downcast and downtrodden, I think about the rays of sunlight filtering through the air, the warmth upon my skin, and my burden is a little bit lightened. David Copperfield was truly put through a challenging childhood. However, instead of focusing on all of the horrible experiences, he relays the kindnesses and happier periods of his life. It really speaks to how a small kindness can go a long way.

This book had me laughing and crying. The character development was really first rate. Although there are many characters, Dickens writes them in such a manner that they are memorable enough to be remembered and recalled throughout the book. David Copperfield was such a moving piece of literature, and it stirs my soul. It had some very serious themes without being preachy.

Overall, I am already looking forward to reading this book again! Excellent read!

1) Just FYI, this book is LONG.
2) I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the audiobook version of this. If you are a Premium Audible member, it is FREE!!!!! Who doesn't like FREE stuff?! The narrator did all of the voices and accents which really brought the book to life. Also, with a book this long, it really helped me make sure that I was progressing at a steady pace and charting my progress.
3) This book was one of the 100 Books to Read Before You Die According to the BBC (I will be reading all 100, currently at 27, and the next up is A Prayer for Owen Meany):

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

Connect With Me!
Blog Twitter BookTube Facebook Insta
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,644 reviews5,103 followers
March 22, 2015

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 impose upon your poor dear aunt Betsy Trotwood!
you immediately discount poor umble Uriah Heep! how dare you condescend to him!
you say nothing as Rosa Dartle defames good honest people! over dinner!
you introduce that atrocious snake Steerforth to those good honest people!
you terrorize your poor landlady!
your drunken shenanigans with Steerforth are revolting! good Agnes was no doubt secretly appalled!
you caution Traddles to avoid generosity with Micawber! mind your own business, Iago!
you stalk your boss's daughter! only Jip recognizes your villainy!
you entangle poor Julia Mills in your scheming!
you attempt to extract money from your workplace - but fortunately Mr. Spenlow and his partner are wise to your gambits!
you continue to stalk poor innocent Dora - even after her father's untimely death! and no doubt your villainy was the cause of that!
you bind Dora to you! the poor doomed natural! you set the servants against her! you make her hold your pens, you tyrant!
you help Uriah Heep cause a good Doctor much stress! you cast aspersions on that Doctor's own wife! her cousin! their marriage!
you strike the poor umble Uriah Heep across the face! a resounding blow!
you monster - berating and "improving" Dora to an early grave! the poor natural, the innocent child-wife! even Jip dies at your feet!
you humiliate and drive away the poor umble Uriah Heep!
you allow poor honest Ham to plunge into the sea - to his death!
you fail to save your friend Steerforth from his own watery death!
you allow Rosa Dartle to heap abuse upon his grieving mother!
you laughingly exile two families to criminal Australia!
you secretly gloat and sneer while witnessing the very proper Mr. Lattimer and poor umble Uriah Heep behind bars!
your most dastardly deed: stringing along the good Agnes - for decades! and finally, you bind her to you in a long-game marriage-plot! i fear for her safety!

oh Diabolic Doady!

oh you monstrous villain, David Copperfield!
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,938 reviews428 followers
May 1, 2023
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 often have my doubts on first-person narrative, but Dickens is one of the few who can do it so well without losing many of the great advantages of reading with an omnipotent narrator. David Copperfield is unreliable in many fields-mostly his blind-spot for falling in love-but he is in-tune with his surroundings and can express what he feels other characters around him are feeling so suitably that it matters not that we are seeing the world through his young eyes only.

The world was fantastic: I am always immediately transported to these places when I read 19th Century fiction and this was no exception. The strife of the poor and the decadence of the indifferent rich is interwoven here like smoke billowing in to pure oxygen. There were so many nooks and crannies to be explored that it took me a while to get through this nigh-on 900 page book, but it was worth it.

Aside from one or two tangents which meant the story-line stalled ever so slightly, it flowed magnificently and I don't remember laughing so much at a book that wasn't a straight humour novel. Dickens has a way of writing with such endearment about his characters and society, but also tearing them apart at the same time. It was a beautiful ride through the English countryside and a nice run through the heavy streets of London and I don't think Thackeray was wrong when he said, "Bravo Dickens."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 8, 2021
(Book 898 from 1001 books) - 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' favourite among his own novels. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, "like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield."

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. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «دیوید کاپرفیلد»؛ «سرگذشت دیوید کاپرفیلد»؛ «داوید کاپرفیلد»؛ نویسنده: چارلز دیکنز؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نخست ماه نوامبر سال 1971میلادی

مترجم: مسعود رجب نیا؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1342، در سه جلد، کتابهای پرستو، چاپ ششم، 1367 در 665ص، چاپ امیرکبیر، 1384 ، در 1030ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا- سده 19م

مترجم: رضا همراه، انتشارات اشراقی، 1353؛

مترجم: محمدرضا جعفری؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، کتابهای طلایی 19، در 43ص، مصور؛

مترجم: فرینوش ایرانبدی - خلاصه داستان؛ تلخیص: میشل وست؛ تهران، توسن، 1363، در 117ص

مترجم: ثریا نظمی - خلاصه داستان؛ تهران، دادجو، 1365، در 160ص

مترجم: علیرضا نعمتی؛ تهران، افشار، 1365، در 175ص

مترجم: خسرو شایسته؛ تهران، سپیده، 1369، در 174ص

مترجم: احمد پناهی خراسانی؛ مشهد، بنگاه کتاب، 1369، در 150ص

مترجم: امیر صادقی؛ تهران، ارغوان، 1372، در 144ص

مترجم: فریده نونهال؛ تهران، جانزاده، 1375، در 120ص

مترجم: ناصر ایراندوست؛ تهران، اردیبهشت، 1377، در 159ص

مترجم: علی فاطمیان؛ تهران، وزارت ارشاد - نشر چشم انداز، 1379، در 236ص

مترجم: مهدی سحابی؛ تهران، کتاب مریم، مرکز، چاپ چهارم برای نوجوانان 1385، در 120ص

مترجم: مهسا یزدانی؛ تهران، بهجت، 1388، بدون شماره ص

مترجم: محسن سلیمانی - متن کوتاه شده؛ تهران، افق، 1388، در 679ص

مترجم: امیر باهور؛ تهران، امیرکبیر کتابهای جیبی، 1389، در 211ص

مترجم: مریم سلحشور؛ قم، رخ مهتاب، 1391، در 242ص

مترجم: حسن زمانی - تلخیص؛ تهران، همشهری، 1391، در 118ص

مترجم: لیلا سبحانی؛ تهران، ثالث، 1392، در 208ص

مترجم: آرمین هدایتی؛ تهران، پارسه، 1393، در 243ص

مترجم: نعیمه ظاهری؛ قزوین، سایه گستر، 1393، مصور در 48ص

همین کتاب با عنوانهای: «سرگذشت دیوید کاپرفیلد» و «داوید کاپرفیلد» نیز چاپ شده است

دیوید کاپرفیلد، نام رمانی نوشتهٔ «چارلز دیکنز»، نویسندهٔ انگلیسی، و نیز نام شخصیت اصلی همین داستان است؛ این کتاب برای نخستین بار در سال 1850میلادی منتشر شد؛ «دیکنز» این کتاب را از سایر کتابهای خود برتر می‌دانستند، شاید از اینروی که رخدادهای هیجان‌انگیز، و بسیاری از عناصر داستان، برگرفته از رخدادهای زندگی خود ایشان بوده است، و می‌توان گفت: «بیش از دیگر رمانهایش، قالب اتوبیوگرافی دارد.»؛

شخصیت اصلی این داستان، «دیوید کاپرفیلد»، کودک مورد علاقه ی خود «دیکنز» نیز می‌باشد؛ «دیوید کاپرفیلد» به دوران پختگی، و کمال هنری «دیکنز» تعلق دارد؛ حجم انتقاد صریح اجتماعی، در این رمان کمتر از نوشته‌ های دیگر ایشان است؛ در این داستان، توجه نویسنده، بیشتر به ماجراهای خانگی، و روحانی است، تا بیدادهای اجتماعی؛ هرچند، با توجه به زندگی خود نویسنده، همچنان در این رمان، به مسائل روانشناختی، از دید اجتماعی، آشکارا توجه شده است؛ خفت‌های شخصیت «پیپ»، در این رمان، فرازجویی‌هایش، بزرگ منشی‌های به خود بسته‌ اش، و نیز ترقی و تنزلش، همه، نمادهای اجتماعی قابل شناخت‌، هستند؛

طرح کلی داستان: در داستان «دیوید» اول شخص است؛ در فصلهای نخست، «دیوید» را، همراه مادر جوانش می‌بینیم، مادری معبود «دیوید»، که آفریده ای است شیرین، و نازنین، اما ضعیف، و سبک مغز؛ «پگاتی»، که موجودی عجیب و غریب، و رفتارش تند و خشن، ولی دلش سرشار از مهر، و عطوفت است نیز، در کنار آنان است؛ رشتهٔ این زندگی آمیخته به عشق و محبت، با ازدواج بیوه ی جوان، با آقای «موردستو��» مردی سنگدل، که در پس نقاب متانت مردانه پنهان شده، گسسته میشود؛ این مرد، به تحریک خواهرش، سرانجام باعث مرگ پیشرس همسر جوان و ساده دل خود میشود؛ «دیکنز»، تأثرات این کودک را، که نمی‌تواند با محیط تازه سازگار شود، و در لاک خود فرو میرود، استادانه شرح داده‌ است؛ ناپدری، کودک عاصی را، به مدرسه میفرستد، تا بدرفتاریهای آقای «کریکل ظالم» را تحمل کند؛ وی در مدرسه، نسبت به یکی از رفیقان خود، به نام «استیرفورث»، حس ستایش بی‌حدی پیدا میکند؛ او جوانکی است فریبنده، که بعداً باعث سرخوردگی دوستش میشود، و کودک با «ترادلز» مهربان، و خوش‌بین، که با کشیدن اسکلت، وقت میگذراند، صمیمی می‌شود؛ ناپدری «دیوید»، پس از آن، او را به کارهایی پست، در فروشگاه «موردستون و گرینبی»، در «لندن» محکوم میسازد؛ وی در آن ایام، در نهایت رنج و محنت، به سر میبرد، و این خود، بارتاب روزهایی است، که «دیکنز» در کودکی، در کارگاه کفش گذرانده بودند؛ خوشبختانه، دوستی با آقای «میکابر» و خانواده اش، جان تازه ای به او میبخشد؛ آقای «میکابر» یکی از آفریده های فناناپذیر «دیکنز» است.؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,425 reviews3,384 followers
February 13, 2022
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 firmness, which wouldn’t allow him to let anybody off from the utmost weight of the severest penalties he could find any excuse for. Be this as it may, I well remember the tremendous visages with which we used to go to church, and the changed air of the place. Again the dreaded Sunday comes round, and I file into the old pew first, like a guarded captive brought to a condemned service.

Edward Murdstone is like a slab of blind bigotry and he is an epitome of cruelty and human meanness.
As I came back, I saw Uriah Heep shutting up the office; and, feeling friendly towards everybody, went in and spoke to him, and at parting, gave him my hand. But oh, what a clammy hand his was! as ghostly to the touch as to the sight! I rubbed mine afterwards, to warm it, and to rub his off.
It was such an uncomfortable hand, that, when I went to my room, it was still cold and wet upon my memory. Leaning out of window, and seeing one of the faces on the beam-ends looking at me sideways, I fancied it was Uriah Heep got up there somehow, and shut him out in a hurry.

Uriah Heep is the slimiest creature I’ve ever met in literature or anywhere else.
And David Copperfield passes through this swarm of villains like a martyr through a series of the unavoidable and harrowing ordeals.
As a piece of ore should pass through the furnace to become a metal, so a boy should pass through the process of coming of age to become a man.
Profile Image for Violet wells.
433 reviews3,049 followers
July 15, 2017
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 wasn’t completely mistaken. By which, I mean it’s lathered with sentimentality.

It was Dickens’ favourite of his novels which I find odd and doesn’t say much for his critical faculties but explains to me why he never quite excised the sentimental strain in his writing: he simply couldn’t see it. Because the sentimentality is like a sickly sweet smell on virtually every page of this novel. Perhaps because of its autobiographical nature he enjoyed writing this a bit too much. When an author gets carried away with the delights of his own story perhaps the inner editor goes into abeyance.

It doesn’t begin well. David as a character reminded me of the AI in Stephen Spielberg’s film of the same name, except, unlike the AI, his programming as irreproachable child never falters. We’re presented with a moral universe of absolutes. There’s no nuance. Mr and Miss Murdstone are pantomime baddies, as lacking in subtlety as their name suggests; Peggoty, his nurse, is a paragon of virtue. David, as child, isn’t any kind of child I recognise. He’s never mischievous or unruly. Cruelty has no meaningful effect on his character. He’s never capable of irrational response – good people after all can still be highly irritating and bad people fascinating and especially authoritative. But only good people have authority for David which basically means he will never develop much as a character, which he doesn’t. David is a neutered foolproof moral touchstone. The novel throughout has a pantomime binary moral system. A character, with one or two exceptions, is either wholly good or wholly bad. So, the first 100 pages were a bit of a struggle for me. I found Peggoty and the evil Murdstones tiresomely predictable. It was therefore a massive relief when the morally ambiguous Steerforth arrives on the scene. Finally we sense David might evolve from a potted plastic flower into one rooted in soil and subject to weather. Finally we see his moral judgements are subject to error. Finally we see the possibility of him being influenced by something other than unadulterated virtue. Unfortunately though Dickens soon repeats the early template of moral absolutes with a new set of characters. And Steerforth, the only character capable of messing with David’s programmed predictability, vanishes from the novel.

There’s no character development in this novel. Even as an adult David still seems like a ten year old. No surprise then that he falls in love with a female counterpart – an adult ten year old female. Before reading this I would have nominated Dorothea and Casaubon in Middlemarch if someone had asked me which couple in the history of literature I found it most difficult to imagine having sex together. However David and Dora now get that award. In fact, sex, like everything else that happens to him, has no notable effect on his character. The moral light in this novel is glaring; it hurts the eyes. No surprise then that the unpredictable dark charge of sex is hostile to its regulated lighting system and so ignored.

Of course it’s not all bad. The sentence writing is consistently brilliant. And as ever Dickens creates his characters with the startled wide-eyed wonder of a child – always they have an almost hallucinated detailed vividness, that larger than life quality, a single oddball defining trait, with which we tend to see grownups as children. We magnify one detail which comes to represent the person in question. It was probably his most inspired feature, his ability to see the world through the eyes of a child but narrate his findings with the eloquence of an adult. Dickens has never been a great psychologist; he doesn’t have much to say about the inner life; his terrain is generally surfaces. The surface of this novel reminded me of a gaudy birthday card with embossed pink hearts and ribbons splashed all over it. For me Dickens is the master purveyor of the novel as light entertainment. But this was more soap opera than novel.
Profile Image for Dolors.
527 reviews2,211 followers
June 11, 2017
“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 in the cyclical calamities and climaxes that sway a long list of memorable characters back and forth in the tide of Dickens’ fluent storytelling.
Marriage, friendship, betrayal, the multifarious forms of parenthood, and the eternal battle between good and evil are the axes around which the personal growth of naive, almost seraphic-like David will revolve.

As I followed David from boyhood to adulthood and all the tragedies and unexpected gifts life throws on his way, I started to wonder about his real role in the story.
Is David the “real protagonist”?
Or is he a mere bystander, a passive witness that chronicles events unfolding around him without taking action in them?
Maybe the real protagonists are the motley array of characters, so rich in description and recognizable for the repetitive idiomatic expressions that identify their eccentricities and foibles that make them unique….irreplaceable.
Peggotty’s mother’s love, in spite of her being childless, Uriah Heep’s humble meanness, Mr. Micawer’s bountiful utterances, the always willin’ Barkis, Mr. Dick’s innocent intelligence, Mrs Gummidge’s repetitive lament “I’m a lone lorn creetur and everything goes contrairy with me”, Dora’s childish capriciousness, Agnes’ patient wisdom, Mr. Peggotty’s huge heart…
This extended cast of characters paints the canvas of intricate humanity on David’s quiet countenance, transfiguring him into a mirror that reflects the reader’s own nature staring back in his eye, with all his vices and virtues glowing with renewed light. David doesn’t move forward the pace of the narrative, he is the moving point on which everything else; plot, characters, essence; converges.

But for this particular reader, David Copperfield goes beyond the realm of literary fiction; he has won a permanent place in my personal journey towards wholeness. He is a role model to look up to. His observant glance bespeaks of obstinate compassion and blind (blindness is not always bad!) faith in mankind, of the virtuous circle of goodwill and good intention, of the power of positive attitude in front of adversity.
There is not an ounce of cheap sentimentalism in the numerous pages of this epic tale, but one will find an overdose of tenderness and smart humor that shine with intelligence and soul, that dares to approach life and its archetypical structures from other perspectives, that embraces those who are different as dear life.
The concept of family has drastically expanded and reached a superior level for me. Family is now an unknown “valley, with the evening sun shining on the remote heights of snow, that close it in, like eternal clouds”, an open door that welcomes the future, wherever it might lead me.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
518 reviews415 followers
November 30, 2022
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 that David Copperfield was his "favourite (literary) child". All these are proof of the book's worth and greatness.

Charles Dickens has written so many great books. There is no argument about it. But if he ever wrote a book with his whole heart and soul, it is David Copperfield. Even though I haven't read all his books, I've read enough to be assured of that, for how it could be otherwise, when it is almost autobiographic of the author? Dickens is well known for his clever and witty writing, his satirical observations on English society. But if Dickens is ever known for beautiful, passionate, and sincere writing, the credit falls upon David Copperfield.

David’s life resembles Dickens’s in many respects. Like David, Dicken had a troubled childhood; and like David, Dickens had to leave school for employment at a tender age to support him (and in Dickens’s case his family too as his father was imprisoned for his pecuniary liabilities). The experience which David obtains at a very young age helps him learn about life and the need to work hard with consistency and devotion to become successful in life. This was Charles Dicken’s motto too. He was a self-made man, whose craving for knowledge and learning made him successful despite the difficulties that surrounded his childhood. Like David, Dickens was a Parliamentary reporter before completely turning in to authorship. In short, David is his literary presentation of himself, more or less.

The main story in David Copperfield is the life journey of David Copperfield from birth to old age, filled with loss, hardship, struggle, adventure, success, and happiness; and is narrated by him. The story is also about the moral and personal development of David from his childhood to youth to adulthood; how he grows up from his childhood fantasies and mistaken impressions, shaking off his vanity, self-importance, and mistakes of the undisciplined heart and learning the true meaning and value of life. Also are included the stories of the other characters which are closely connected with his. These stories allow the reader to gain a broad perception on the then English society, the differences of people according to their classes, the vain superiority of the rich, the difficulties and struggles of average men and women, and tragic lives of young innocent girls who become victims of wicked and lustful men. A wider area of life, of the relationship between parent and child, husband and wife, of morals and principles, of tragic lives of "fallen women" (due to no fault of theirs), of society, are addressed in these stories making it a complete work.

David Copperfield is truly a great book. In my reading life, I have come across many that emotionally affected me; but only a handful had been able to tug at my heartstrings. David Copperfield is certainly one. There were many instances that I was in tears, my lips trembling and my heart weeping; and that I couldn’t go on. The stories, the characters, all were so true and so real. If anyone thinks of reading only one book of Dickens, it should, without doubt, be David Copperfield.

To the opening statement of the book that “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 know”, I have this to say as a reader. David is the hero of his life because of the unconditional love and support of two heroines: his aunt Betsy and Agnes.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
May 16, 2020
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: it is one about the potential of becoming a better and stronger person despite the inherent pain that comes with this thing called life. We can learn from it.

It is a great story, one full of memorable and interesting characters. Some are awkwardly eccentric and some plain villainous. Here the marvel of Dickens shines through because he can capture people so incredibly well: he is the master of description. The way he writes brings all the quirks and individualism of his characters to life. There are few writers who can do this so well and with such a vast multitude of subjects. Each character is unique because the observation skills of his narrators scrutinise and report in such a detailed manner.

I became quite invested in David’s life. I cared about David. I wanted to see the world do him right after his unfortunate early experiences. And the conclusion was everything the story needed to be. But, for me, that is where it all ends. I do not have anything else positive to say because David Copperfield did not make me think nor did it make me consider anything else beyond the plot level. It gave me everything and it left me nothing to chew over.

Let me try to explain myself a little better. To compare this to Great Expectations, a sweeping story of love and tragedy, it is totally vanilla. That book is intriguing and mysterious. There is an element of the unknown. There are shadows that linger over the writing and it is a story that remains with me many years after reading it. It is that powerful. With David Copperfield, though, I feel like I could quite easily (and happily) forget most of what happened here.

It is a story I enjoyed but that is all, so three stars seems about right here. Tepid is the word that comes to mind when I think about David Copperfield.

You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
559 reviews7,423 followers
January 19, 2018
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 into peril when Dora Spenlow, a jealous fag hag, refuses to continue living as Copperfield's beard and forces him to marry her. Thus, Copperfield and Steerforth break apart. All seems lost until Copperfield befriends Tommy Traddles, another boy whose acquaintance he had made at Salem House. They partake in a salubrious love affair to which Dickens pens several hundred pages of steamy man-on-man action. However, once again this relationship is cast into peril by that bitter old queen Uriah Heep.

Uriah Heep is a mean gay and the epitome of masc4masc culture. Heep sees Copperfield as fit young otter and attempts to kill off Traddles by throwing pearls beneath his feet à la Showgirls. However his plan is spoiled after his findom daddy, Mr. Micawber (the man who famously threw the first brick at Stonewall), repossess his pearls because Heep refuses to send him any more daguerreotypes of his feet.

Or, in other words:

David Copperfield is more of the same from Dickens. More straight-forward than some of his previous novels, Dickens instead relies on verisimilitude rather than ridiculousness in order to tell this story. It is a pity as the more outrageous Dickens is, the more I enjoy him. However, despite this novel only receiving three-stars from me, it is still better than most novels ever written. It is only 'three-stars' within Dickens' own bibliography and not the greater Western canon. It probably would have been four-stars if he had included more chapters with Miss Mowcher.
Profile Image for Candi.
614 reviews4,637 followers
August 22, 2020
“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 parents could be called avid readers by any means. To my delight, the box contained several very old volumes of Dickens novels. It turns out these were passed on from my grandfather, who as far as I know, never picked up a book for pleasure in his life! It was a mystery of sorts as to where these books originated in the first place. I thought, perhaps after all I had an ancestor that treasured books as I do! In any case, David Copperfield was among those volumes. It was too irresistible to pass up the chance to read a book that maybe a great-grandfather or great-grandmother had at one time held lovingly in his or her hands. I liked to imagine such a thing while reading it at that time. I always felt a little alone in my reading endeavors and this gave me a wee bit of comfort.

As to the book itself, the most vivid memories are of my experience finding it rather than actually reading it. I recalled it was long, much longer than anything I would ever have picked up at that age. I also remember there being a profusion of characters! Whether I liked it or not, I have no idea… thus, when the opportunity to read it once again presented itself to me, I jumped on it. I left the old volume behind when I moved out of my childhood home, so this time I decided to listen to the audio version. Not just any audio would do, however – the Richard Armitage narration! There is no voice, other than those of my children, that gives me greater pleasure to listen to than his divine tongue. Have you ever listened to him? No? Please do. His performances are excellent, and he does a range of voices that would please, thrill and amuse any listener!

“Mature affection, homage, devotion, does not easily express itself. Its voice is low. It is modest and retiring, it lies in ambush, waits and waits. Such is the mature fruit. Sometimes a life glides away, and finds it still ripening in the shade.”

To be clear, not only did I admire Richard Armitage’s dramatic accomplishments, I rather adored David Copperfield as well. This book is semi-autobiographical in nature, so one can see a bit of Dickens in young Copperfield. The reader follows little David from birth through adulthood and you can’t help but champion him throughout. You’ll pity the unfortunate lad and want to protect him from the likes of the Murdstones. Your heart will break with his misfortunes as he goes forth alone in the world at far too young an age. You’ll cross your fingers and your hopes will rise as he tramps to the doorstep of Betsey Trotwood. You’ll delight in his young loves, always so tender and reminiscent of those of your own, perhaps. He makes mistakes, sometimes misplaces loyalties, and continues to grow as a result. Certainly, Uriah Heep will make you recoil as he writhes and contorts and places his clammy hand in David’s palm. Like any Dicken’s novel, a spectacular array of characters will spring from the pages. Dickens doesn’t let you forget a single person. His vivid depictions will keep them in the forefront of your mind to be quickly retrieved when you meet them once again in later pages. I can’t think of any other writer who does this quite so masterfully. Some may argue they are just caricatures, and that is perhaps true for some. But there are others, like David, who are not merely cut-outs, but like living beings who develop and mature. There are depths to be explored within them.

What I loved most about David Copperfield is the message that families can be made up of a myriad of individuals. These are not necessarily blood relatives but persons that come into your life and take on the roles of mother, father, sister, brother and so forth. They do so with an abundance of protection and devotion that will make your spirit soar and once again restore your faith in the decency of some human beings.

“...I hope that simple love and truth will be strong in the end. I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.”
Profile Image for Luís.
1,862 reviews519 followers
January 18, 2023
After reading such a density, it is a bit of a friend left on the road. Dickens himself will admit to having difficulty quitting David Copperfield after such a long intimacy!
In the preface, this novel is his favorite, and when he has to read an extract in front of an audience a few years later, the choice of this extract is anguishing because this novel is a whole. A set of entangled narratives, one in the other, that cannot separate without breaking the fabric of the work;
it is also that this novel is very personal and that Dickens has put much of it into this character! On this point, the notes are captivating.
But when I say I just left a friend here, should I specify "a bunch of friends," which is especially Copperfield's custodian of ups and downs?
David Copperfield, aged about 40, turns to his past, a long, quiet river at a time when he will meet the Peggoty, brother and sister Murdstone, Emily, Steerforth, his aunt, Agnes, the Micawber, and finally Dora, of which he will become a mad lover.
To enumerate the characters who will follow David in his journey - good, bad, sometimes both - I retrace the story thread and ask myself: what made it?
Dickens is an exceptional storyteller who is not afraid to occasionally throw away information about the narrator's future. Nevertheless, it keeps us in suspense for the seven hundred pages that follow, Not hesitating to add humor to dramatic scenes and a tender love when death is involved.
It was the little David, the orphan, who most moved me, but I give my affection to Mr. Peggoty, Agnes, and of course, to David's aunt, who will completely change when she opens the door to a poor vagrant child.
It is also a sometimes moving portrait of industrial England and an almost cinematographic work that inspired the greatest of the years following its publication.
Goodbye, David!
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,644 reviews5,103 followers
March 14, 2016
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 famous skill at sketching the characters - often, but not always, caricatures - that live and breathe in his world. this is the kind of deep-dish experience that i love to have when traveling, on a plane or a bus or in some plaza, a second world to live in while taking a break in exploring the immediate world around me.

i can't help but also remember how many people dislike Dickens. i'm remembering an ex who told me he was her least favorite author, and how her resentment at being forced to read him in high school almost put her off reading for pleasure in general. it is hard to reconcile such a strong distaste for Dickens with my own easy enjoyment of his novels. my automatic reaction is that the reader who isn't enchanted by him either dislikes the style of writing or is simply the sort of idiot who should stick to reading facebook. well i don't date idiots, so i assume her reaction is based around the writing style. maybe that is the basic rationale for most folks who don't care for him.

or maybe it is based on something else. there is something that i've found to be off-putting about David Copperfield, at least so far. namely, the incredibly passive and naive behavior of David himself (and his mother, of course). it's more than just my automatic distaste for reading about victims, although that is certainly a part of it. what it feels like at times is that Dickens is stacking the deck a bit, making miserable situations even more potentially miserable, by having his protagonist (and that wretched mother, of course) be almost developmentally disabled in his inability to understand even basic things about the world around him. it sorta drives me up the wall.

well, that complaint aside, this has still been an awesome time. first and foremost, even more than the world-building and juicy characters, i love the dry and sardonic humor that is constantly working double-time. not only does it create some distance between reader and book in regards to the various horrors visited upon young David... it is fookin' hilarious!

favorite parts so far:

- that brilliant opening chapter "I Am Born"

- the Peggotty boat-house and the warmth of that wonderful family. i would like to live there!

- Steerforth. ugh! what a charming monster.

- the sadly minor note tragedy of Mr. Mell

Status Report: Chapters 9 - 26

i think i was expecting a bit more evil from the Murdstones. the way they treat David is certainly unkind verging on cruel - but i suppose i thought it would be a lot more brutal. this is not a complaint! if anything, i appreciate that Dickens makes David's predicament a much more realistic one. the Murdstones are cold, cold people. and they certainly drive David's tedious mother to an early grave (i shed no tears on that one). but i was surprised that their primary action is to simply send David away to a boring job, one that no child his age should have (and here i am viewing the narrative through my 21st century lense). a callous decision yet not a vicious one. David is merely an irritation that they want to dispense with, rather than harm. interesting.

that brief segment was certainly enlivened by the depiction of the marvelously goofy Mr. Micawber & Family. and by a fascinating look into life in a debtor's prison. i assume this is the classic Poor House?

but then... good grief, poor David Copperfield goes through hell to escape this life of tedium. many emotions on my part, all centered on the idea of such casual cruelty towards a runaway. brought back some unsettling memories of my brief time as a homeless youth counselor.

and then - at last! - some decency. even better, eccentric rather than mawkish decency. Aunt Betsey & Mr. Dick are two more wonderful Dickens creations. especially that tough old broad Aunt Betsey - each and every one of her appearances are a delight. when David finally gets to the safety of his Aunt's house, i felt a lot of tension drain out of me. it is like his story is now truly about to begin, now that the Gothic horrors slash neglected childhood bits are out of the way.

- an introduction of the best character yet: Uriah Heep! this is the role that Crispin Glover was born to play. what a wondrously creepy and perfectly realized little villain. all that supplicating, all that writhing! brilliant stuff.

- interesting: David is rarely called by his actual name. two more nicknames are added to the list: Trotwood and Daisy. David is rather a tabula rasa of a character.

- the relationship between Mr. Wickfield and Agnes is not heartwarming. it is downright creepy.

and now the tension is ratcheted up again, but in a way that doesn't make me sorta squirm with discomfort (tales of child neglect ≠ a good time for me). three sets of increasingly dire circumstances...

(1) Lil' Em'ly and the despicable villain Steerforth
(2) Agnes and the despicable villain Uriah Heep
(3) Aunt Betsey and a mysterious, blackmailing unknown despicable villain

will David be able to intercede in any of these troubling situations? i am doubtful, but also hopeful. go, David, go!

Status Report: Chapters 27 - end

exhilarating, wonderful, awesome, etc, etc. all the good words. i laughed (a lot), i cried (just a little, and in a manly sort of way), i wouldn't change or subtract a single word. perfect!

Final Report

okay this will be less of a Final Report and more of a collection of final thoughts as i think back on the novel and consult with the various threads in Serials Serially - the group that started me reading this novel.

first, the division in the novel. the first third or so, all about young David and his fairly awful travails: vivid and powerful. the remainder of the novel, all about David in his young adult years and following the growth of all those narrative seeds planted in that fertile first third; an excess of details veering on repetitious, and so that the book becomes less of a frightful gothic tale and more of a slow-burning assortment of mysteries (and many, many instances of pure comedy): less vivid and perhaps less powerful. looking back, i have to say that i am in the minority and preferred the last two-thirds. not only was the tension of potential situations involving child abuse and neglect now gone (a personal bugaboo of mine that will quickly render almost any literary or cinematic experience into something hugely uncomfortable and unappealing)... but it somehow all felt more real to me. the first third was visceral but almost cartoonish while the rest of the novel felt as if i was actually living in the novel. such was the extent of the detail and the effect of following these characters as they move throughout many different situations and changes in their lives.

"cartoonish". or better yet, "Dickensian". what does that really mean? a peculiarly stylized version of caricature? i understand the rep that Dickens has with his characters. they are stylized, obviously. but very few of them remained caricatures to me. ultimately, most ended up feeling very real and i was impressed at Dickens' ability to provide multiple dimensions to his characters - although he does it in a rather subtle way. his heroes do not get strong criticism and his villains do not get endearing moments of humanity. and yet it is there. David Copperfield is kind and good, but he is also a passive, foolishly naive fellow whose kindness and naivete often does nothing but make situations worse - especially in nearly every instance involving his relationship with Steerforth. Agnes is also kind and good, but her passivity makes her function as a sort of enabler to her father. Steerforth is a callous and feckless villain, but has moments of genuine warmth and kindness. Rosa Dartle is a heartless shrew - but look at that poor bitch's entire life with Steerforth & mom - i'd become a heartless shrew in that situation as well. Uriah Heep is an unctuous, slimy kiss-ass and back-stabber... but look where he comes from, his context, the kind of person his father was and the ideals he was raised up to worship. and of course Micawber, who would be pure pathos but whom Dickens treats with an extraordinary amount of affection. Dickens is not necessarily an 'even-handed' author, but he is one who is clearly aware of context.

there are some comments in this review's thread about women in Dickens - comments that i initially agreed with. but in retrospect, i actually don't agree. looking back on this novel, the women are often just as full of life as the men. perhaps folks are mainly thinking of the rather anemic Agnes. but now - when i think of dim Dora and vicious Rosa and ferocious Aunt Betsey and tragic Emily and loveable Peggotty and maudlin Mrs Gummidge and pathetic Martha and the eccentric 'two little birds' (Dora's aunts) and pretentious Julia Miles and dignified-under-pressure Mrs Strong and hilariously faithful-to-a-fault Mrs Micawber - i think of characters who leap right off of the page and stay to live in my mind. so, no, i am not critical of how women are portrayed in Dickens.

except, maybe, Dora. she is surely one of the most bizarrely stupid characters ever created in classic literature. when she first baby-talks David's nickname "Doady", i practically wanted to barf. she's so stupid that many times i found myself thinking She's Not Stupid - She's Mentally Disabled! good grief! and so i felt bad about my contempt and i started having mixed feelings about David even being with her. it seemed somehow wrong. there is also something so sexless about her character - it was impossible for me to imagine her capable of any sort of genuine intimacy. but i have to give it to Dickens - he doesn't present her as an ideal (unlike David), he satirizes her mercilessly in scene after scene, and in the end, invests both her marriage and her death with such genuine, palpable emotion that i became genuinely, palpably moved. her marriage scene (practically every paragraph beginning with "Of") was one of the most dreamily written passages i've ever read. and her death - not explicitly described, but paralleled with Jip's death - wow. amazing scene.

the combined death scenes of brave Ham and horrible Steerforth was almost equally moving. that last line describing Steerforth at his final rest: superb.

okay i think i'm spent. this is one of those novels that i can probably talk on and on about, so i should just make myself stop. i'll close by saying that the novel is, in a word, brilliant. i loved the language, the humor, the whimsy, the drama; the characters were wondrously alive; the narrative both surprisingly subtle and excitingly larger-than-life. so many scenes were indelible - too many to recount.

David Copperfield is one of my favorite novels.

David Copperfield: An Alternative Perspective
Profile Image for Kimber Silver.
Author 1 book226 followers
March 15, 2023
"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 his carer, Peggotty, as they played together. I settled in by the fire with David and his widowed, childlike mother to bask in the warmth of their family and, as Master Copperfield grew, my love for him swelled. But this tale is not all sunshine and lollipops - far from it! By the time I had realized what lay ahead, I was too enmeshed to turn back. My heart was shredded so many times that I had to put my kindle down and walk away because I couldn’t stand another moment of pain. I always returned because I couldn’t leave the dear boy alone.

I cursed those who had hurt my treasured lad, but David remained ever hopeful and bright, even in the face of impossible odds. He shared this faith with me, along with laughter, love, and hope of a more glorious day to come.

David Copperfield will, from this day forth, be one of my favorite books. Dickens' writing, of course, is pure gold with delicious, buttery prose gracing every page. This novel may have splintered my heart and dragged it through the mud, but in the end, Charles Dickens put everything right, and I’m all the better for reading it!

A big thank you to Martha. Her passionate review convinced me to add this!

"At the appointed time, we stood at the door—the door of that house where I had been, a few days since, so happy; where my youthful confidence and warmth of the heart had been yielded up so freely; which was closed against me henceforth; which was now a waste, a ruin."

"That at this sight Mrs. Markleham dropped the newspaper, and stared more like a figure-head intended for a ship to be called The Astonishment, than anything else I can think of."

"How well I recollect the wintry ride! The frozen particles of ice, brushed from the blades of grass by the wind, and borne across my face; the hard clatter of the horse’s hoofs, beating a tune upon the ground; the stiff-tilled soil; the snowdrift, lightly eddying in the chalk-pit as the breeze ruffled it; the smoking team with the waggon of old hay, stopping to breathe on the hill-top, and shaking their bells musically; the whitened slopes and sweeps of Down-land lying against the dark sky, as if they were drawn on a huge slate!"
Profile Image for Carlie.
33 reviews25 followers
April 21, 2008
"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.
The characters in this novel are like real people to me and I feel for them as I feel for living creatures. I despise Mr. Murdstone, I adore David, I want to slap his mother, I would spit on Dora, I laugh with Peggotty, I cheer Emily on, I pity Uriah Heep, and I sympathize with his aunt Betsy Trotwood. It was such a memorable experience that more than 15 years later, I can still recall certain scenes as if they were part of my actual memory.

All that is good about this world (innocence, justice, truth) can be found within these pages. I cannot reccommend it highly enough.

But I have one helpful suggestion: Do not read it without notebook and paper in hand to keep track of characters. They are often introduced nonchalantly only to reappear later as central to the storyline.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
872 reviews1,759 followers
January 12, 2018
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 everyone must be aware of its content here. Instead I will put in few lines what I like about this:

I loved that little scared child, who loved his mother from the bottom of his heart who despite all her efforts couldn’t save him from the Murdstones. My heart went out for this afraid, stammering kid. And perhaps this hard behavior honed him into something strong that held him up in the tough times, inspired him to go on and never stop.

If Murdstones’ cruelty made him strong then his aunt Betse Trotwood and his nurse, Peggotty, showed him how to love, trust, and hope. It was just so beautiful to see them carve him into a good man.

As he became a man, friends i.e. Micawber and Traddles, taught him to smile and made him an honest man.

But Agnes put soul into this hard, strong, and loving man. She inspired him to keep doing good deeds. She calmed him in spite of going through hell herself. Just like David, I was in awe of this girl/woman throughout the book.

This book left me bittersweet. Bitter because I was not ready to say good bye to these characters yet and sweet because it ended on a high note. I heaved a huge sigh of relief after seeing my favorite people getting what they deserved.

Such a simple yet an absolutely beautiful book.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
January 5, 2018
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!

But it wasn't only annoyance with the blatant hypocrisy, vulgarity and opportunism, of course. I fell in love with the minor characters, as I usually do when reading Dickens. And just following their paths, walking through 19th century London, is a delight!


My eldest son finished it as well now, and interestingly he was more annoyed with David's naivety than with Uriah's hypocrisy and criminal activities.

By now fully acquainted with the Copperfield universe, he read a comment in The Economist, and burst out laughing at the notoriously self-promoting, self-indulgent, deceptive politician of our days, who claimed to be "very humble indeed - people wouldn't believe really how humble I am!"

"Is 'e as 'umble as Uriah?" my son asked, laughing tears. Well, Uriah ended up playing his tricks in prison... The 'umble scoundrel cited in The Economist later moved into the Bleak House, eh ... sorry, 'umble mistake, Black House it is. Wrong again? Well, in a world turned upside down, it is a pure pleasure to read Dickens and to know that his characters get the fate they deserve, and that poetical justice will come, after a long nail-biting adventure, originally delivered in the newspapers just like global day-to-day politics!

So, Uriah! I would appreciate if you could just 'umbly stay a fictional character!
Profile Image for Kenny.
494 reviews862 followers
July 21, 2022
I had considered how the things that never happen, are often as much realities to us, in their effects, as those that are accomplished.
David Copperfield ~~ Charles Dickens

What a crackerjack story David Copperfield is!

I have a tradition of reading something by Dickens every December. Sometimes a full novel, often a short story, mostly re-readings of A Christmas Carol, this being my favorite of all Dickens' writings. Earlier this year I was speaking with my friend Matthew & told him I hadn’t settled on my Dickens read for the year; he suggested David Copperfield. I’m so glad I followed Matthew’s suggestion. One thousand plus pages later, I wanted David Copperfield for my best friend. Yes, I absolutely loved David Copperfield! I jumped the gun a bit by reading it towards the end of November, which frees up December for Oliver Twist.

Beginning just before his birth, with Copperfield telling the story as it was related to him, the first-person account ends sometime in Copperfield’s mid-life. From his orphaned childhood to a step-parent with less than scrupulous morality, Copperfield's childhood has all the hallmarks of 19th century England, at least in so far as it is portrayed by Dickens, the Bronte Sisters, George Elliot ~~ or even Victor Hugo, who finished Les Miserables in Britain’s Guernsey. Orphans, step-parents, premature death, the conflict between marriages for love or for money, and the constant worries about annual income, debt, and debtor’s prison all make their appearance in David Copperfield.


David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy & impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the vivid cast of characters Master David encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone & his evil sister, Jane; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood ~~ who I loved; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; & the magnificently impecunious Micawber ~~ one of literature’s great comic creations.

David Copperfield begins like a gender-reversed Cinderella story ~~ Cinderfella. Young Master David lives happily with his widowed mother, until she marries mean Mr Murdstone ~~ the wiched stepfather. David's mother, Clara ~~ a weak-willed young woman ~~ loves her son dearly ~~ but lets him down. Not only does she fail to stick up for him, but even lets the evil Murdstones talk her into supporting their point of view. Eventually the poor young mother dies, and David is left at the mercy of Murdstone and his bitter, twisted, ugly sister; a terrible place for any child to be ~~ especially a sensitive child like Young Master David.

But Young Master David is no passive Cinderfella. Rather than sitting around crying, to be later rescued by a fairy-godmother, he takes his destiny into his own hands ~~ he seeks out his fairy-godmother on his own and at his peril. David has heard tales about his dead father's aunt, Miss Betsey Trotwood. She's a man-hater ~~ with good reason ~~ who would have taken on his support if he'd been a girl, but she was present at his birth, and stalked off in disgust when he turned out to be a boy. Young Master David knows his only chance to escape a terrible fate is to set off on his own two feet to track her down, doing his best to convince his Great Aunt to give him another chance. It's a brave move indeed, since there's no guarantee Miss Trotwood will even let him in her door.


Betsey Trotwood ~~ the wonderful Betsey Trotwood ~~ David’s austere Great Aunt. She is a great example of one of the one dimensional characters Dickens introduces very early in his novels, who go on to become fully rounded, interesting and intensely human ~~ Dickens' writing is full of them. Betsey Trotwood is a real eccentric, but proves to be genuinely kind and warm hearted under her brusque exterior. She is the only person willing and able to confront and confound the evil Edward Murdstone, and his cruel sister Jane. And the way that Aunt Betsey nurtures and champions the simple-minded Mr. Dick is Dickens at his most humane. Betsey Trotwood is one of the most awe-inspiring figures in this intensely compelling read.

While we're at it, here are a few observations about some of the other interesting female characters in this book. Clara Peggotty ~~ the infant Copperfield’s nurse and friend is a lovely character ~~ one of Dickens’ quintessential nurturing women. She is completely loyal ~~ first to David’s weak and ineffective mother ~~ then to the David himself. There's Little Emily ~~ who David falls in love with on his very first visit to the Peggotty clan in Yarmouth ~~ a woman with a heart of gold, who falls victim to circumstances ~~ this being Dickens of course it's an exploitative man. Another ~~ Rosa Dartle ~~ who lives as a companion with Mrs. Steerforth ~~ an astonishingly cold and cruel woman. Later we meet Dora Spenlow ~~ Copperfield’s child-wife ~~ an irritatingly feckless woman. It is said Dicken modeled her on Maria Beadnell, whom he was infatuated with for several years in his late-teens and who eventually rejected him ~~ due to his lower-class origins. Was Dora Dickens' revenge on Maria? Lastly, there's the angelic Agnes Wickfield ~~ Dickens’ ideal ~~ an unreal specimen of perfect womanhood. While I find Dora to be quite annoying, I do prefer her over the angelic Agnes.


As stated previously, Dickens loved him some orphans, cruel stepfathers, sadistic schoolmasters, and frail women crushed like fragile flowers. David Copperfield has an abundance of these things, and every other thing that makes a novel Dickensian . David eventually finds a savior ~~ allowing his life to moves along with ups and downs that echo those of Dickens himself.

Much of the drama and humor in David Copperfield comes from the subplots ~~ David is the least interesting character here ~~ this is not a criticism ~~ David is the hub to which all these crazy spokes attach to. David lifts up those people in his world ~~ helping to redeem many of them. Along the way, he apprentices as a proctor, is smitten by his boss's daughter, proceeding from penniless youth to prosperous middle age as a successful author ~~ sound familiar? Along the way, his friends and associates have much more dramatic adventures, from the perpetual pecuniary difficulties of Mr. Micawber ~~ a gregarious but completely irresponsible fellow who Dickens based on his own father ~~ to the somewhat bumpier and less lofty ascendancy of his childhood friend Tommy Traddles ~~ to the fall of his childhood sweetheart Little Emily ~~ ensnared by his other childhood friend, the dastardly James Steerforth ~~ a sweet poor girl seduced by a rich dashing scoundrel was mandatory in Regency and Victorian novels.

Dickens' greatest talent is bringing outrageous characters to life ~~ in all their outrageous glory. I wanted to shake Clara Copperfield awake to act on behalf of her son, punish the Murdstones, and wished a house would fall on the wicked Rosa Dartle. Dora Spengler made me laugh and wince, while Wilkins Micawber made me laugh and groan ~~ and then there's Uriah Heep ~~ detestable and pitiable at the same time. How can David compete with this colorful cast of characters ~~ but, it was David who kept the novel grounded.

Dickens delivers his usual come-uppance for the wicked and satisfaction for the injured ~~ yes, sometimes in a far too convenient manner as to be unbelievable ~~ but this is Dickens after all.


So how do I really feel? I'll say it again ~~ What a crackerjack story David Copperfield is! It’s about good and evil, kindness and venality, family real and by circumstance, avarice, power, and most of importantly, love. It’s filled with memorable characters with wonderful and distinctive names. It captures the manners and foibles of the time, as only Dickens could do. It tells a story of the working and middle classes in the first half of 19th century England ~~ speaking to the nobility and the depravity of the human condition.

If you were to choose to read only one of Dickens’ books, David Copperfield would have to be it. The sheer power of Dickens' story-telling is at its best, here ~~ the story is full of memorable characters and situations. If you want to know what all the fuss is about Charles Dickens, read David Copperfield and all will be revealed.

Profile Image for Carlos.
102 reviews90 followers
August 13, 2021
"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 unforgettable mixing an orphan boy, lovely adventures, interesting trials, among others. If I were a villain someday (hope not), I would like to be like Uriah Heep.
A very nostalgic book, a total must of Classic Literature, I will totally re-read it as soon as I can.
I am very proud of my name being "Charles" in Spanish version, even if it was just by coincidence.
Recommended? Absolutely! It's a Classic! and you can learn a lot of one of the most important all-time writers: Charles Dickens.
Profile Image for Luffy.
867 reviews720 followers
October 4, 2018
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. I think the author wanted to refer to himself.

I have read entire chapters (okay, chapter 35) without understanding a lick of what was being said. I dread what would happen if this book figured in my B.A. English class. Maybe I should have appealed to the expertise of the group that's very passionate about Dickens. You know who you are...

And, in the end, details of some happenings are already beginning to fade. I must say, that the deaths in this book are different from that in Nicholas Nicklesby, and also from those in Martin Chuzzlewit. I'd compare Mr Pecksniff with Uriah Heep, but there is little similitude between them, really. Am I so brave as to read more of Dickens, or braver still to reread David Copperfield? Time will tell. My rating of this book is based on my enjoyment of it, believe it or not. See you later, Mr. Dickens.

PS - It has come to my attention that I didn't praise the book a lot. I think it's marvellous. Only I got caught up in saying why I didn't rate it 5 stars. The book is great. Read it at your own leisure.

If you want to read a much better review than mine, click on the link below :

Profile Image for Geoff.
444 reviews1,187 followers
January 26, 2016
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? I shall read them all.
Profile Image for Matthias.
107 reviews338 followers
February 10, 2016
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 romantic side and you need to be able to get in touch with it in order to enjoy this book, but if you give this tale a chance, it will nurture that sensitive side and make you get tears of joy.

This book is a biography of a wonderful, semi-fictional person, David Copperfield, whose ordeals and adventures are based on those experienced by Charles Dickens. David's thoughts are generous and because this book is written from his perspective, everything he describes around him is depicted in their best possible light. The world is such a nice place through his eyes, even in the most dreary situations of poverty, abandonment and death of loved ones. Plenty of songs of happiness and love are sung in this book, but like in every life, there is not just that. Sadness, death, loss, heartache become beautiful because of their purity and their core of warmth, a warmth so well expressed in this book. Betrayal and jealousy become even uglier when put next to the purer feelings.

It hasn't always been an easy read. Some passages are rather slow and a rare couple of segments that were meant to be funny have somehow lost their edge (most humourous instances still retain their power over your mouth corners and unshaken belly, though. They will yield, I assure you!). The local dialects in which some of the protagonists speak sometimes make it very difficult to understand for a non-native English speaker like myself.

I have read this book with a little notebook next to me to take down the most memorable quotes. It was difficult not to just simply copy entire pages at times. Here are some of my favorite quotes -who are really stories in themselves- which show the timeless humour and the great pen of an author who has shown that the most naive thing to be is to be anything but continuously amazed with the wonders all around you:

“Be thankful for me, if you have a kind heart, as I think you have, that while I know well what I am, I can be cheerful and endure it all. I am thankful for myself, at any rate, that I can find my tiny way through the world, without being beholden to anyone; and that in return for all that is thrown at me, in folly or vanity, as I go along, I can throw bubbles back.”

"Very much admired, indeed, the young woman was. What with her dress; what with the air and sun; what with being made so much of; what with this, that, and the other; her merits really attracted general notice."

"This country I am come to conquer! Have you honours? Have you riches? Have you posts of profitable pecuniary emolument? Let them be brought forward. They are mine!"

"Oh the river! I know it's like me! I know that I belong to it. I know that it's the natural company of such as I am! It comes from country places, where there was no harm in it - and it creeps through the dismal streets, defiled and miserable - and it goes away, like my life, to a great sea that is always troubled and I feel that I must go with it."

"If, any sunny forenoon, she had spread a little pair of wings and flown away before my eyes, I don't expect I should have regarded it as much more than I had had reason to expect."

"And if ever, in my life, I have had a void made in my heart, I had one made that day."

"I shall never forget the waking next morning; the being cheerful and fresh for the first moment, and then the being weighed down by the stale and dismal oppression of remembrance."

"It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was."

"...and that she desired her compliments, which was a polite fiction on my part."

"When I woke next morning, I was resolute to declare my passion to Dora, and know my fate. Happiness or misery was now the question. There was no other question that I knew of in the world, and only Dora could give the answer to it."

"Love must suffer in this stern world; it ever had been so, it ever would be so. No matter. Hearts confined by cobwebs would burst at last, and then Love was avenged."

If you love Love, with the big L, you'll love this Book.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
August 31, 2020
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 others fairly leap off the page—wonderful Aunt Betsey and loyal Traddles were two of my favorites.

Full review to come!

May/June 2020 group read with the Dickensians! group. The discussion threads are amazing. Somehow I bypassed this one when I was a college English major, so I’m rectifying that omission now. 😎
Profile Image for Pollopicu.
255 reviews64 followers
March 12, 2016
I found this book in a junk pile in a nearby neighborhood shop. I've been burnt by Dickens before (Tale of two Cities). I swore up and down I would never suffer through a another Dickens book ever again. When I spotted this beautiful mint condition vintage copy of David Copperfield, I just couldn't resist. It was free and it seemed like such a shame to just leave it there. It was snowy and damp and I knew if someone didn't rescue it it would become sinfully ruined. I knew if I took it home I was going to force myself to read it sooner or later, one way or another. So picking it up and actually taking it home was an inevitable commitment. The book is 881 pages long.. Once I start reading I go all the way. I have a no abandonment rule, but this one almost pushed me to change that rule. It started off great, at first I couldn't believe that this was the same writer who wrote A Tale of Two Cities. To me reading a Tale of Two Cities was like trying to read Sanskrit. I was initially glad to have given Dickens a second try because I would have otherwise missed his literary diversity...that's what I first thought...Then like 250 pages in I realized I was suckered into it AGAIN!! Gorgeously written but incredibly and painfully dull. David Copperfield annoyed me so much. There was nothing romantic or noteworthy about his entire story. It was like being forced to watch someone else's boring home-videos. It lacked maturity. It seemed like he never grew up to be a man, and remained a rosy-cheeked, self-back-patting little ass-kisser. Then you gotta love how Dickens conveniently kills off his wife Dora so he can have the opportunity to marry his REAL true love, Agnes, whom he never even knew he loved. How romantic. Just what every woman dreams of being.. sloppy seconds. It's not even worth getting into the rest of the reasons why I didn't enjoy the story, so I'll wrap it up by saying:
If I'm ever rummaging through another junk pile of books, and I run across another Dickens, I don't care if the light of God is shining it's golden rays on it, and inside is a map that leads me to a treasure of flawless fist-full chunks of diamonds, I will never ever take another Dickens home ever again.

To all the people who gave this 5 stars..

you lie.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,094 followers
July 9, 2019
"De todos los libros este es el que más me gusta... como muchos padres, tengo un hijo predilecto, un hijo que es mi debilidad; este hijo se llama David Copperfield." Charles Dickens

"David Copperfield" era una de las novelas predilectas de Franz Kafka. De hecho su propia novela "El desaparecido", llamada "América" por Max Brod, Kafka define el personaje de Karl Rossmann en forma secular al de Dickens.
Las novelas de formación o "Bildungsroman" como comúnmente son llamadas nos cuentan la vida de un personaje, a veces en primera persona, a veces en tercera, desde que es niño o muy joven hasta su edad madura e incluso vejez.
Casos como este abundan en la literatura y podemos recordar otras de Dickens como "Oliver Twist" y "Nicholas Nickleby" pero también encontramos novelas de otros autores, tal es el caso de "Rojo y negro" de Stendhal, "Jane Eyre" de Charlotte Brontë, Agnes Grey de su hermana Anne Brontë e incluso novelas como "Retrato del artista adolescente" de James Joyce, "El Adolescente" de Fiódor Dostoievski y también, por qué no, "Israel Potter" Herman Melville. En fin, ejemplos los hay y muchos.
En mi caso, vaya a ser por qué prurito o prejuicio, no quería leer a Dickens y es a partir de libros como este cuando me doy cuenta de lo equivocado que estuve, ya que como buen cultor de novelas y autores del siglo XIX, debería haberlo intentado antes. Pero, como nunca es tarde para comenzar, me pareció buena idea iniciar la lectura dickensiana con este libro. Seguramente vendrán más.
Dickens es un novelista total de la talla de otros inolvidables autores, famosos por su prolífica obra y sus extensísimas novelas, como lo pueden ser Fiódor Dostoievski, Honoré de Balzac, Víctor Hugo y Lev Tolstói. Adentrarse en estas novelas es saber que por una buena porción de tiempo, uno estará abocado a la lectura de cientos de páginas, que a veces, sobrepasan las mil.
El autor escribió este libro durante dos años enteros y los fue publicando por entregas semanales hasta completar la historia y publicarla en forma de libro y se nota: mi edición, que aunque es de bolsillo es íntegra y consta de mil cuarenta y nueve páginas.
Son muchos los especialistas que coinciden en que esta es la novela más autobiográfica de Dickens, ya que lo que le sucede desde niño a Copperfield prácticamente se asemeja casi en forma idéntica a la vida que Dickens atravesó especialmente en su infancia y los distintos personajes que rodean a Copperfield están tomados de la vida real de Dickens con nombres cambiados, aunque existe también en esta novela un gran conglomerado de hechos y personajes que no están sacados de su propia vida.
Los inicios de David Copperfield son duros, crueles y despiadados. Sufre todo tipo de atropellos y castigos. Por momentos me recordó a los de Jane Eyre.
Es vapuleado por su cruel padrastro, el señor Edward Murdstone y su hermana, la señorita que eleva su categoría de ser humano a bruja. La muerte, el hambre y la pobreza son moneda corriente en su infancia y de no ser por su eterna niñera Peggotty, corre continuamente riesgo de no llegar a adulto.
Su vida transcurre entre los ignotos pueblos de Suffolk y Yarmouth y por momentos en la Londres de fines del siglo XIX, en plena Revolución Industrial, donde la diferencia de clases sociales es tan marcada como injusta.
Otro aspecto destacable, es el total sometimiento de la mujer y los niños por parte de los hombres: machismo, misoginia y patriarcado son algo común en Inglaterra y estos sufren el desprecio y la violencia innecesaria de una sociedad que lo reduce a la mínima expresión. Muchas de las situaciones que Copperfield, los alumnos de escuela o las señoritas de su época tienen que vivir son realmente terribles.
La brutalidad de la enseñanza primaria, a base de golpes que se utilizaba en ese país llegó a extenderse a hasta bien adentrado el siglo XX. Inglaterra siempre fue un claro ejemplo de excesos a cargo de profesores y maestros, algo que recuerdo mucho cada vez que escucho "Another brick in the Wall" de Pink Floyd en el que Roger Waters grafica claramente cómo hasta la década del 40 era normal castigar a los alumnos también a partir de su propia experiencia empírica.
Le llevará años a Copperfield quitarse de encima este karma y será recién entrado en su adultez cuando pueda ponerse realmente de pie.
Naturalmente, una novela de este calibre está construida sobre la base de personajes sustanciales e inolvidables. Además de los ya nombrados, la historia girará alrededor de David Copperfield, su amigo y protector de la infancia James Steerforth, su otro amigo Traddles que lo acompañará hasta el final, el entrañable señor Wilkins Micawber, siempre al borde del colapso y la cárcel, la tía de David, Betsey Trotwood, pieza fundamental en su vida, el señor Dick, amigo inseparable de la tía, el profesor Creakle durante sus días de infancia, el señor Peggotty, hermano de su niñera, Ham, la pequeña Emily, quien tendrá varios capítulos dedicados para ella, y ya a partir de la mitad de la novela, la aparición de la bellísima Dora Spenlow quien robará el corazón de David, y muy especialmente para recordar es la aparición de Agnes Wickfield cuya injerencia tendrá importancia suprema para el desarrollo de la segunda mitad del libro.
Por último, dejo a Uriah Heep, uno de los villanos mejor construidos de la literatura a cargo de Dickens, amo y señor de las bajezas más impensadas que tendrá a todos bajo su malvada influencia.
Uriah Heep cuyo nombre fue incluso utilizado por una banda de hard rock de los setenta, se asemeja a los grandes villanos que nos hemos encontrado en otros libros famosos y su poder de atracción en el lector es hipnótico, ya que constantemente uno quiere saber cuál será la siguiente movida de Heep y cómo afectará al resto de los personajes.
Dentro de la novela, nos encontraremos con un sinfín de situaciones y giros en la trama, y todos ellos estarán conectados entre sí, atravesando en algunos casos, varios años.
Claramente se ve lo que puede surgir de la pluma magistral de este autor enorme que se llamó Charles Dickens y a quien le debo una sincera disculpa y un gran respeto y agradecimiento por tantas novelas inolvidables como esta que iré leyendo con el correr del tiempo.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
2,023 reviews4,068 followers
August 5, 2012
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 partially blinds the reader to his scoundrelly tendencies until his flitting with sweet Emily. Uriah Heep���s squirminess and umbleness wrongfoots the reader until his scoundrelly tendencies are unmasked (although David outs him as a beast from the start). The first-person narrator opens doors of eloquence in Dickens’s prose hitherto closed in the topographical omniscience of previous works. As usual, a memorable cast of eccentrics, stoics, loveable fuck-ups and social climbers. No sagging secondary plots like in Dombey and Son. Deeply moving passages on the passing of time, memory, penitence, friendship and naïve love (Dora is a female Peter Pan). High-class comedy a-go-go. An enriching experience. Your soul glows reading this. You want more from a book? Geddouttahere. Time for that veggie burger. Open til nine and never over capacity (like fecking GR).
Profile Image for Suzy.
775 reviews249 followers
February 1, 2023
I DID IT! I finally finished listening to 36 1/2 hours of David Copperfield! It was all Copperfield all the time for the month of January. I loved the story of Master Davey, Mister Copperfield, Trot, Daisy, some of the many names he was called. Dickens tells his fictional account of his life with humor, pathos and tenderness toward his subject. I cried, I laughed, I was anxious for DC as he went wide-eyed into the world. Dickens characters are writ large to make his points about human nature, points that stand the test of time still today, almost 175 years later. His writing is lively and rarely flags. I'm so happy to have spent so much time with these characters.

I will say that I've listened to a lot of audiobooks over the years, but this is up there in my top five favorites ever. Bravo, Richard Armitage! With that said, I'm glad to have had the Penguin Classics print book at hand to see how the book was broken up into the installments Dickens published over 20 months before issuing them as a book, to read the scholarly introduction, and the notes of explanation of language and culture of the time.

I'm continuing the theme of all Copperfield all the time by watching the 1999 tv series starring soon-to-be Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe.

Why I'm reading this: Want to read this before I clear the hold list for Demon Copperhead. I've loved Dickens writing and storytelling so have high hopes for this. I'm listening because the book is over 500pp, my threshold for listening instead of reading in print. Have a print copy on hand for reference.
Profile Image for Carmo.
654 reviews467 followers
April 26, 2020
Apesar das mais de setecentas páginas, lê-se que é uma beleza; não lhe encontrei passagens enfadonhas e nunca me entediou. É verdade que alguns momentos podiam ter sido menos sentimentalões, que alguns desfechos só foram possíveis por excesso de bonomia do autor, ou que no final acabou tudo demasiado certinho.
Mas essa sempre foi a essência Dickensiana; através das piores provações a que sujeita as suas personagens, quase sempre em cenários grotescos e decadentes, denunciar a injustiça social e a maldade exercida sobre os mais desfavorecidos - em particular as crianças. Reserva sempre um lugar especial para aqueles cuja moral não quebra, cujo altroísmo se faz sentir de forma desinteressada, e que contribuem para num último remate compor um final justo e feliz, e deixar no coração de cada leitor um sentimento de satisfação.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,829 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.