David Copperfield

David Copperfield (1850)

Novel: David Copperfield ()
Published/Performed: 1850

Author: Charles Dickens
Born: Feb 7, 1812 Landport, Portsmouth, England
Passed: Jun 9, 1870 Gad's Hill Place, Higham, Kent, England

Film: David Copperfield
Released: 1935

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About the Novel David Copperfield:

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account),[1] commonly referred to as David Copperfield, is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens, first published as a novel in 1850. Like most of his works, it originally appeared in serial form a year earlier. Many elements within the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of all of his novels.[2] In the preface to the 1867 Charles Dickens edition, he wrote, "? like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield." [3]

The story is told almost entirely from the point of view of the first person narrator, David Copperfield himself, and was the first Dickens novel to be written as such a narration.

PCritically, it is considered a Bildungsroman ? i.e., a novel of self-cultivation ? and would be included in the same genre as Dickens's own Great Expectations (1861), Charlotte Bront?'s Jane Eyre, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh, H. G. Wells's Tono-Bungay, D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Tolstoy regarded Dickens as the best of all English novelists and considered Copperfield his finest work, ranking the "Mischief" chapter (chapter 42, the story of David's dreams) the standard by which the world's great fiction should be judged. Henry James remembered hiding under a small table as a boy to hear its instalments read aloud by his mother. Dostoyevsky read it enthralled in a Siberian prison camp. Franz Kafka called his own first novel Amerika "sheer imitation" of David Copperfield. James Joyce paid it reverence through parody in Ulysses. G. K. Chesterton considered Copperfield "the best of all Dickens' books". Virginia Woolf, who otherwise betrayed little regard for Dickens, confessed the durability of this one novel, for it belongs, she said, to "the memories and myths of life". The book was also Sigmund Freud's favourite novel.

David Copperfield has been filmed on several times including versions in 1911, 1913, 1922, 1935 (directed by George Cukor) and 1969 (directed by Delbert Mann, featuring a who's who of English classical actors).

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