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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), commonly known as David Copperfield, is a novel in the bildungsroman genre by Charles Dickens, narrated by the eponymous David Copperfield, detailing his adventures in his journey from infancy to maturity. It was first published as a serial in 1849–50, and as a book in 1850.

David Copperfield is also an autobiographical novel: “a very complicated weaving of truth and invention”, with events following Dickens’s own life. Of the books he wrote, it was his favourite. Called “the triumph of the art of Dickens”, it marks a turning point in his work, separating the novels of youth and those of maturity.

At first glance, the work is modelled on 18th-century “personal histories” that were very popular, like Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews or Tom Jones, but David Copperfield is a more carefully structured work. It begins, like other novels by Dickens, with a bleak picture of childhood in Victorian England, followed by young Copperfield’s slow social ascent, as he painfully provides for his aunt, while continuing his studies.

Dickens wrote without an outline, unlike his previous novel, Dombey and Son. Some aspects of the story were fixed in his mind from the start, but others were undecided until the serial publications were underway. The novel has a primary theme of growth and change, but Dickens also satirises many aspects of Victorian life. These include the plight of prostitutes, the status of women in marriage, class structure, the criminal justice system, the quality of schools and the employment of children in factories.

00 – Preface
01 – Chapter 1 – I Am Born
02 – Chapter 2 – I Observe
03 – Chapter 3 – I Have A Change
04 – Chapter 4 – I Fall Into Disgrace
05 – Chapter 5 – I Am Sent Away From Home 
06 – Chapter 6 – I Enlarge My Circle Of Acquaintance
07 – Chapter 7 – My First Half At Salem House
08 – Chapter 8 – My Holidays, Especially One Happy Afternoon
09 – Chapter 9 – I Have A Memorable Birthday
10 – Chapter 10 – I Become Neglected, And Am Provided For
11 – Chapter 11 – I Begin Life On My Own Account, And Don’t Like It
12 – Chapter 12 – Liking Life On My Own Account No Better, I Form A Great Resolution
13 – Chapter 13 – The Sequel Of My Resolution
14 – Chapter 14 – My Aunt Makes Up Her Mind About Me
15 – Chapter 15 – I Make Another Beginning
16 – Chapter 16 – I Am A New Boy In More Senses Than One
17 – Chapter 17 – Somebody Turns Up
18 – Chapter 18 – A Retrospective
19 – Chapter 19 – I Look About Me, And Make A Discovery
20 – Chapter 20 – Steerforth’s Home
21 – Chapter 21 – Little Emily
22 – Chapter 22 – Some Old Scenes, And Some New People
23 – Chapter 23 – I Corroborate Mr. Dick, And Choose A Profession
24 – Chapter 24 – My First Dissipation
25 – Chapter 25 – Good And Bad Angels
26 – Chapter 26 – I Fall Into Captivity
27 – Chapter 27 – Tommy Traddles
28 – Chapter 28 – Mr. Micawbers Gauntlet
29 – Chapter 29 – I Visit Steerforths House Again
30 – Chapter 30 – A Loss
31 – Chapter 31 – A Greater Loss
32 – Chapter 32 – The Beginning of a Long Journey
33 – Chapter 33 – Blissful
34 – Chapter 34 – My Aunt Astonishes Me
35 – Chapter 35 – Depression
36 – Chapter 36 – Enthusiasm
37 – Chapter 37 – A Little Cold Water
38 – Chapter 38 – A Dissolution of Partnership
39 – Chapter 39 – Wickfield and Heep
40 – Chapter 40 – The Wanderer
41 – Chapter 41 – Dora’s Aunts
42 – Chapter 42 – Mischief
43 – Chapter 43 – Another Retrospect
44 – Chapter 44 – Our Housekeeping
45 – Chapter 45 – Mr. Dick Fulfils My Aunt’s Predictions
46 – Chapter 46 – Intelligence
47 – Chapter 47 – Martha
48 – Chapter 48 – Domestic
49 – Chapter 49 – I Am Involved In Mystery
50 – Chapter 50 – Mr. Peggotty’s Dream Comes True
51 – Chapter 51 – The Beginning of a Longer Journey
52 – Chapter 52 – I Assist At An Explosion
53 – Chapter 53 – Another Retrospect
54 – Chapter 54 – Mr. Micawber’s Transactions
55 – Chapter 55 – Tempest
56 – Chapter 56 – The New Wound, And The Old
57 – Chapter 57 – The Emigrants
58 – Chapter 58 – Absence
59 – Chapter 59 – Return
60 – Chapter 60 – Agnes
61 – Chapter 61 – I Am Shown Two Interesting Penitents
62 – Chapter 62 – A Light Shines On My Way
63 – Chapter 63 – A Visitor
64 – Chapter 64 – A Last Retrospect
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