Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Charles Dickens's David Copperfield. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
David Copperfield: Introduction
David Copperfield: Plot Summary
David Copperfield: Detailed Summary & Analysis
David Copperfield: Themes
David Copperfield: Quotes
David Copperfield: Characters
David Copperfield: Symbols
David Copperfield: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Charles Dickens
Historical Context of David Copperfield
Other Books Related to David Copperfield
- Full Title: The Personal History, Experience, and Observations of David Copperfield the Young, Of Blunderstone Rookery, Which He Never Meant to be Published on Any Account
- When Written: 1848–1850
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: Published in serial form between 1849 and 1850, then published as a novel in 1850
- Literary Period: Victorian
- Genre: Bildungsroman, autobiographical novel
- Setting: Victorian England (primarily London, but also Dover, Yarmouth, Suffolk, and Canterbury), Switzerland.
- Climax: James Steerforth and Ham Peggotty die in a storm off the coast of Yarmouth, and the Micawbers, Mr. Peggotty, Little Em'ly, and Martha depart for Australia.
- Antagonist: Uriah Heep, Mr. Murdstone
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for David Copperfield
The Man Who Came to Dinner. Uriah Heep's physical appearance might have been inspired in part by the writer Hans Christian Andersen, whom Dickens met shortly before he began writing David Copperfield. Ironically, however, Dickens and Andersen were on very good terms at the time, and it was not until a decade later that Dickens took a disliking to Andersen's personality. In 1857, a planned short stay with the Dickens family stretched to five whole weeks, and Andersen's eccentric behavior—which included lying down crying on the front lawn over a bad review—further irritated Dickens.
Quoth the Raven. Charles Dickens had a succession of pet ravens, all named "Grip," one of whom probably served as the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven": Dickens brought the bird with him to his 1842 tour of America, during which he met Poe.