David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Miss Clarissa Spenlow Character Analysis

Miss Clarissa is one of Mr. Spenlow's sisters. She and her sister, Lavinia, act as a guardian for Dora after Mr. Spenlow's death. She is more severe in temperament than Lavinia, and frequently hints that she disapproved of her brother's wife (largely because she never invited the Spenlow sisters to dinner). Clarissa does, however, agree to allow David to visit Dora.
Get the entire David Copperfield LitChart as a printable PDF.
David copperfield.pdf.medium

Miss Clarissa Spenlow Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Clarissa Spenlow appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 41: Dora's Aunts
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...is more familiar with "matter of this nature." David later learns that both Lavinia and Clarissa consider the former an expert on romance because they believe a man named Mr. Pidger... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Miss Lavinia explains that she and Miss Clarissa were somewhat estranged from Mr. Spenlow, and that his death has in any case changed... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Miss Clarissa gives Lavinia permission to continue, and Lavinia says that they have spoken with Dora and... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...is difficult to know whether David and Dora's feelings will last, at which point Miss Clarissa interrupts to say that they would understand Dora better if Mr. Spenlow had sometimes invited... (full context)
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...marrying. In the meantime, Miss Lavinia works to assemble a wardrobe for Dora, while Miss Clarissa and Miss Betsey find furniture for the couple to look at and approve. Dora, however,... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...evening, Sophy and Agnes (who is also a bridesmaid) arrive at Miss Lavinia's and Miss Clarissa's home. Traddles proudly introduces Sophy to David, who describes her as "not absolutely beautiful" but... (full context)
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...rum." At some point, Miss Lavinia begins crying and has to be revived by Miss Clarissa. David also sees Miss Betsey crying, despite her attempts to look "stern." Dora, meanwhile, is... (full context)
Chapter 53: Another Retrospect
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...the time David and Miss Betsey spend tending to and talking with her. Sometimes Miss Clarissa and Miss Lavinia visit, and everyone reminisces about Dora's wedding. David explains that he felt... (full context)