David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
David Copperfield
Charles Dickens
42:29 h Novels Lvl 9.45
The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account), commonly known as David Copperfield, is a novel in the bildungsroman genre by Charles Dickens, narrated by the eponymous David Copperfield, detailing his adventures in his journey from infancy to maturity. It was first published as a serial in 1849–50, and as a book in 1850. Called "the triumph of the art of Dickens", it marks a turning point in his work, separating the novels of youth and those of maturity. Dickens wrote without an outline, unlike his previous novel, Dombey and Son. Some aspects of the story were fixed in his mind from the start, but others were undecided until the serial publications were underway. The novel has a primary theme of growth and change, but Dickens also satirises many aspects of Victorian life. These include the status of women in marriage, class structure, the criminal justice system, the quality of schools and the employment of children in factories.

David Copperfield

by
Charles Dickens


AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO
THE
HON. Mr. AND Mrs. RICHARD WATSON,
OF
ROCKINGHAM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.

Preface to 1850 Edition

I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret — pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions — that I am in danger of wearying the reader whom I love, with personal confidences, and private emotions.

Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavoured to say in it.

It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know, how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I have nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still) that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I have believed it in the writing.

Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green leaves once a month, and with a faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David Copperfield, and made me happy.

London, October, 1850.


Preface to the Charles Dickens Edition

I REMARKED in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from it, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it was so recent and strong, and my mind was so divided between pleasure and regret — pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions — that I was in danger of wearying the reader with personal confidences and private emotions.

Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I had endeavoured to say in it.

It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I had nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still), that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I believed it in the writing.

So true are these avowals at the present day, that I can now only take the reader into one confidence more. Of all my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is

DAVID COPPERFIELD.

1869


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