Thursday, April 24, 2014


'David Copperfield' is Charles Dickens' 8th and most autobiographical novel. It was published in 1850 and, as some of his other stories, was first published in a series.
The story follows David from his birth into his mid-life and even his golden years.
I found the story very engaging and I have become quite a Dickens fan. There are 37 characters in this novel and I think it is quite a feat to develop these characters to the point where the reader not only remembers them, but takes on a keen like or dislike for each of them. A case in point is a fellow by the name of Uriah Heep. I do not recall ever having had such a visual image of a villain as I have of this ingratiating, slimy, falsely humble excuse for a man. And as for a paragon of  virtue none can compare with Agnes. Peggoty is a model for a doting, loving, nursemaid, and David's stepfather, Murdstone is creepy and manipulative to the point of literally sucking the life out of those around him.
The life and times of David Copperfield are interesting because they portray life in London during that period. The locations, the dialects, the lifestyles of the various strata of society are all described in detail and in very artistic and literary ways. 
One can get completely absorbed into the world of David and his peers, and coming back to the book after a brief absence is like looking up an old friend. 
Although there are a few scenes of action and suspense, the real tension in the novel is the interplay between characters, and the tension that may or may not be resolved. 
The many characters keep appearing and disappearing, always relevant to the situation at hand, and in the end, we get a good synopsis of each character and his or her fate. And as in other Dickens' novels, the good and virtuous people win out and continue onward and upward, whereas the villains and the treacherous, mean-spirited characters play out the end of their lives in misery and sorrow. 
Dickens was a prolific writer, and that in the day when there were no word processors or spell check. His writings are the result of a lifetime of pen and paper, but also talent and creativity. I will be reading another of his novels soon, "Bleak House". I have been warned by the reviews that it is another lengthy novel. One has to have a bit of patience reading Dickens, but the effort is well rewarded.   
4 Stars 

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