David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

Words from the achiever

“I was always a reader. First I read the Bobbsey Twins, then the Rover Boys, and Tom Swift and Tarzan. And then when I was 11 or 12, as a Sunday school prize I was given a copy of David Copperfield, which was an enormous book to my mind; it was 300, 400, 500 pages long. And I read it, and I knew then, without doing anything about it or making any resolution over it, that I had entered into a world that was in many ways better than the world I or anybody else lived in. For example, by the time I had read David Copperfield, I knew David better than anybody I’d ever known, including myself, and I realized that that was a world that was available to me. I didn’t then and there settle down and read a lot of Dickens. I went back to Tarzan and Tom Swift. But about three years later I really looked into the kind of thing that David Copperfield showed me was there, and I’ve always prized that experience of having read David Copperfield as my first real book. It’s still a good book.”

About the book

Dickens’ favorite of his own works, and his most autobiographical, David Copperfield records the struggles of a young man in early Victorian England, following him from childhood to young manhood. The story contains some of the most memorable characters in English literature, including the unctuous Uriah Heep and the ever-optimistic Mr. Micawber.

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.