David Copperfield

Classic English Literature

Book 3
谷月社
2
Free sample

David Copperfield, is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens. 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' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of his 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, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, in 1820, six months after the death of his father. David spends his early years in relative happiness with his loving but frail mother and their kindly housekeeper, Peggotty. When he is seven years old his mother marries Edward Murdstone. During the marriage, partly to get him out of the way and partly because he strongly objects to the whole proceeding, David is sent to lodge with Pegotty’s family, in Yarmouth. Her brother, the fisherman Pegotty, lives in a houseboat with his adopted relatives Em’ly and Ham, and an elderly widow, Mrs Gummidge. Little Em’ly is somewhat spoilt by her fond foster father, and David is in love with her. On his return, David is given good reason to dislike his stepfather and has similar feelings for Murdstone's sister Jane, who moves into the house soon afterwards. Between them they tyrannise over 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 a boarding school, Salem House, under a ruthless headmaster, Mr. Creakle. There he befriends an older boy, James Steerforth, and Tommy Traddles. He develops an impassioned admiration for Steerforth, perceiving him as something noble, who could do great things if he would.

David goes home for the holidays only to learn that his mother has given birth to a baby boy. Shortly after David returns to Salem House, his mother and her baby die, and David returns home immediately. Peggotty marries the local carrier, Mr Barkis. Murdstone sends David to work for a wine merchant in London – a business of which Murdstone is a joint owner. Copperfield's tragicomic landlord, Wilkins Micawber, is arrested for debt and sent to the King's Bench Prison, where he remains for several months, before being released and moving to Plymouth. No one remains to care for David in London, so he decides to run away.
He walks from London to Dover, where he finds his only relative, his unmarried, eccentric great-aunt Betsey Trotwood. She had come to Blunderstone at his birth, only to depart in ire upon learning that he was not a girl. However, she takes pity on him and agrees to raise him, on condition that he always tries to ‘be as like his sister, Betsy Trotwood” as he can be, meaning that he is to endeavour to emulate the prospective namesake she was disappointed of, despite Murdstone's attempt to regain custody of David. David's great-aunt renames him "Trotwood Copperfield" and addresses him as "Trot", and it becomes one of several names which David is called by in the course of the novel.

David is sent to another school by his aunt, as he calls his great-aunt. This is a far better school than the last he attended, and is run by Dr Strong, whose methods inculcate honour and self-reliance in his pupils. During term, David lodges with the lawyer Mr Wickfield, and his daughter Agnes, who becomes David’s confidante. Wickfield has a secretory, the 15 year-old Uriah Heep.

By devious means Uriah Heep gradually gains a complete ascendancy over the aging Wickfield, to Agnes’ great sorrow. Heep hopes, and maliciously confides to David, that he aspires to Agnes’ hand. Ultimately with the aid of Micawber, who has been employed by Heep as a secretary, his fraudulent behaviour is revealed, and Wickfield vindicated; he had been apparently instrumental in the loss of David’s Aunt Trotwood’s fortune, which Heep had in fact stolen. At the end of the book, David meets him in a prison, for attempting to defraud the Bank of England.

David's romantic but self-serving school friend, Steerforth, seduces and dishonours Emily, offering to marry her off to one of his servants before finally deserting her. Her uncle Peggotty manages to find her with the help of London prostitute Martha, who had grown up in their county. Ham, who had been engaged to marry her before the tragedy, died in a storm off the coast in attempting to succour a ship; Steerforth was aboard the same and also died. Peggotty takes Emily to a new life in Australia, accompanied by the widowed Mrs. Gummidge and the Micawbers, where all eventually find security and happiness.

David marries the beautiful but naïve Dora Spenlow, who dies after failing to recover from a miscarriage early in their marriage. David then searches his soul and weds the sensible Agnes, who had always loved him and with whom he finds true happiness. David and Agnes then have at least four children, including a daughter named after his great-aunt, Betsey Trotwood.
Read more

About the author

Charles Dickens (1812-1870).—Novelist, born at Landport, near Portsmouth, where his father was a clerk in the Navy Pay-Office. The hardships and mortifications of his early life, his want of regular schooling, and his miserable time in the blacking factory, which form the basis of the early chapters of David Copperfield, are largely accounted for by the fact that his father was to a considerable extent the prototype of the immortal Mr. Micawber; but partly by his being a delicate and sensitive child, unusually susceptible to suffering both in body and mind. He had, however, much time for reading, and had access to the older novelists, Fielding, Smollett, and others. A kindly relation also took him frequently to the theatre, where he acquired his life-long interest in, and love of, the stage. After a few years’ residence in Chatham, the family removed to London, and soon thereafter his father became an inmate of the Marshalsea, in which by-and-by the whole family joined him, a passage in his life which furnishes the material for parts of Little Dorrit. This period of family obscuration happily lasted but a short time: the elder D. managed to satisfy his creditors, and soon after retired from his official duties on a pension.

About the same time D. had two years of continuous schooling, and shortly afterwards he entered a law office. His leisure he devoted to reading and learning shorthand, in which he became very expert. He then acted as parliamentary reporter, first for The True Sun, and from 1835 for the Morning Chronicle. Meanwhile he had been contributing to the Monthly Magazine and the Evening Chronicle the papers which, in 1836, appeared in a collected form as Sketches by Boz; and he had also produced one or two comic burlettas. In the same year he married Catherine Hogarth; and in the following year occurred the opportunity of his life. He was asked by Chapman and Hall to write the letterpress for a series of sporting plates to be done by Robert Seymour who, however, died shortly after, and was succeeded by Hablot Browne (Phiz), who became the illustrator of most of D.’s novels. In the hands of D. the original plan was entirely altered, and became the Pickwick Papers which, appearing in monthly parts during 1837-39, took the country by storm. Simultaneously Oliver Twist was coming out in Bentley’s Miscellany. Thenceforward D.’s literary career was a continued success, and the almost yearly publication of his works constituted the main events of his life. Nicholas Nickleby appeared in serial form 1838-39. Next year he projected Master Humphrey’s Clock, intended to be a series of miscellaneous stories and sketches. It was, however, soon abandoned, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge taking its place.

The latter, dealing with the Gordon Riots, is, with the partial exception of the Tale of Two Cities, the author’s only excursion into the historical novel. In 1841 D. went to America, and was received with great enthusiasm, which, however, the publication of American Notes considerably damped, and the appearance of Martin Chuzzlewit in 1843, with its caustic criticisms of certain features of American life, converted into extreme, though temporary, unpopularity. The first of the Christmas books—the Christmas Carol—appeared in 1843, and in the following year D. went to Italy, where at Genoa he wrote The Chimes, followed by The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. In January, 1846, he was appointed first edition of The Daily News, but resigned in a few weeks. The same year he went to Switzerland, and while there wrote Dombey and Son, which was published in 1848, and was immediately followed by his masterpiece, David Copperfield (1849-50)....

 

Read more
4.5
2 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
谷月社
Read more
Published on
Oct 1, 2015
Read more
Pages
837
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Literary
Literary Collections / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Collections / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralised by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period. It follows the lives of several characters through these events. A Tale of Two Cities was published in weekly installments from April 1859 to November 1859 in Dickens's new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. All but three of Dickens's previous novels had appeared only as monthly installments. With sales of about 200 million copies, A Tale of Two Cities is the biggest selling novel in history.

In 1775, a man flags down the nightly mail-coach on its route from London to Dover. The man is Jerry Cruncher, an employee of Tellson's Bank in London; he carries a message for Jarvis Lorry, a passenger and one of the bank's managers. Mr. Lorry sends Jerry back to deliver a cryptic response to the bank: "Recalled to Life." The message refers to Alexandre Manette, a French physician who has been released from the Bastille after an 18-year imprisonment. Once Mr. Lorry arrives in Dover, he meets with Dr. Manette's daughter Lucie and her governess, Miss Pross. Lucie has believed her father to be dead, and faints at the news that he is alive; Mr. Lorry takes her to France to reunite with him....
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.