David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)
Charles Dickens, Jeremy Tambling
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'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels' Virginia Woolf
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.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
our present position is, which I have no doubt he will- like to know, I will go and look at the paper the while, and see whether anything turns up among the advertisements.” “I thought you were at Plymouth, ma‘am,” I said to Mrs. Micawber, as he went out. “My dear Master Copperfield,” she replied, “we went to Plymouth.” “To be on the spot,” I hinted. “Just so,” said Mrs. Micawber. “To be on the spot. But, the truth is, talent is not wanted in the Custom House. The local influence of my family
me. He was more unlike himself than I could have supposed possible. “It would be better to be this poor Peggotty, or his lout of a nephew,” he said, getting up and leaning moodily against the chimney-piece, with his face towards the fire, “than to be myself, twenty times richer and twenty times wiser, and be the torment to myself that I have been, in this Devil’s bark of a boat, within the last half-hour!” I was so confounded by the alteration in him that at first I could only observe him in
Traddles seemed to expect that I should assent to this as a matter of course, I nodded, and he went on, with the same sprightly patience—I can find no better expression—as before. “So, by little and little, and not living high, I managed to scrape up the hundred pounds at last,” said Traddles, “and thank Heaven that’s paid—though it was—though it certainly was,” said Traddles, wincing again as if he had had another tooth out, “a pull. I am living by the sort of work I have mentioned, still, and
did I think—but that you were a young libertine in everything but experience, and had fallen into hands that had experience enough, and could manage yon (having the fancy) for your own good? Oh! oh! oh! They were afraid of my finding out the truth,” exclaimed Miss Mowcher, getting off the fender, and trotting up and down the kitchen with her two short arms distressfully lifted up, “because I am a sharp little thing—I need be, to get through the world at all!—and they deceived me altogether, and I
her, if I had had a better heart!” exclaimed the girl, with most forlorn regret, “for she was always good to me! She never spoke a word to me but what was pleasant and right. Is it likely I would try to make her what I am myself, knowing what I am myself so well? When I lost everything that makes life dear, the worst of all my thoughts was that I was parted for ever from her!” Mr. Peggotty, standing with one hand on the gunwale of the boat, and his eyes cast down, put his disengaged hand before