Drawing on Charles Dickens's own, often difficult childhood, to create a compelling story of personal success, David Copperfield is edited with an introduction and notes by Jeremy Tambling in Penguin Classics.
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.
Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions.
If you enjoyed David Copperfield, you might like Dickens's Great Expectations, also available in Penguin Classics.
'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels'
Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity as a novelist was established with the success of Pickwick Papers (1836-7). His other novels include Great Expectations and Bleak House.
Jeremy Tambling is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong.