David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Miss Lavinia Spenlow Character Analysis

Miss Lavinia is one of Mr. Spenlow's sisters. Along with her sister, Clarissa, Lavinia takes Dora in after Mr. Spenlow's sudden death. She frequently alludes to a past romance with a man named Pidger, although David privately doubts that there was much to the supposed relationship. Nevertheless, Lavinia's taste for romance makes her inclined to sympathize with David, and both she and her sister agree to allow him to visit and court Dora.
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Miss Lavinia Spenlow Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Lavinia 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
...who has to "lay claim to [him]self." Finally, one of the aunts says her sister Lavinia will explain their thoughts on David and Dora's relationship, since she is more familiar with... (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... (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 believe that... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Miss Lavinia continues to explain that it is difficult to know whether David and Dora's feelings will... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Miss Lavinia asks David to follow her and leads him to the next room, where he finds... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...soon discovers that work leaves him no time to go to tea, so (with Miss Lavinia's permission) he begins to visit on Saturdays as well as Sundays. Meanwhile, Miss Betsey and... (full context)
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...again to make room for Dora, whom David is finally marrying. In the meantime, Miss Lavinia works to assemble a wardrobe for Dora, while Miss Clarissa and Miss Betsey find furniture... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...a bridesmaid. That 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... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
That evening before dinner, Miss Lavinia privately brings Dora to see David in the dress she'll be wearing for the wedding.... (full context)
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...and an "ancient mariner […] strongly flavoring the church with rum." At some point, Miss Lavinia begins crying and has to be revived by Miss Clarissa. David also sees Miss Betsey... (full context)
Chapter 53: Another Retrospect
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...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 as though everything... (full context)