David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Mr. Spenlow Character Analysis

Francis Spenlow is a proctor for whom David works after finishing his studies at Doctor Strong's school. He is generally a good-natured man, but he is very protective of his daughter, Dora, and absolutely forbids David from marrying her when he learns of their engagement. Mr. Spenlow also spoils Dora, which becomes a problem when it is discovered (after Spenlow's sudden death from a heart attack) that he is deeply in debt. David and Dora eventually marry, but Dora is never entirely able to adjust to the less luxurious life she leads after her father's death.
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Mr. Spenlow Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Spenlow appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23: I Corroborate Mr. Dick, and Choose a Profession
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...Spenlow and Jorkins, where they find several clerks at work. One of them says that Mr. Spenlow is in Court, so David looks around while they wait for him to return: the... (full context)
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Mr. Spenlow himself turns out to be a small and "buttoned up" man with a huge gold... (full context)
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David, Mr. Spenlow , and Miss Betsey agree that David will begin work right away, and Spenlow takes... (full context)
Chapter 26: I Fall into Captivity
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...apprenticed outright. There is a small party at the office when he is "articled," and Mr. Spenlow says that he would have been happy to have him over to his home if... (full context)
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David and Mr. Spenlow take a phaeton (carriage) together from Doctors' Commons to the latter's house. During the ride,... (full context)
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David and Mr. Spenlow arrive at the latter's house, which has a beautiful garden. As they go inside, Mr.... (full context)
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...thoughts of Dora. At dinner, he is wildly jealous of anyone who seems to know Mr. Spenlow better than he does, and spends most of his time talking to Dora, who has... (full context)
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David, Mr. Spenlow , and the rest of the men rejoin Dora and Miss Murdstone, who pulls David... (full context)
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...rest of the day; by the time he goes to bed, he is imagining that Mr. Spenlow has given his permission for David and Dora to marry. (full context)
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David and Mr. Spenlow have to leave early the next day to attend a case in Court. David is... (full context)
Chapter 29: I Visit Steerforth at His Home, Again
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...for a temporary leave of absence from work and then attends one final case with Mr. Spenlow . The case is "amusing," and David is feeling optimistic about his chosen profession as... (full context)
Chapter 33: Blissful
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...latter are settled, she goes with David to Doctors' Commons to pay her bill. When Mr. Spenlow comes to greet them, however, they are surprised to see that Mr. Murdstone is with... (full context)
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Peggotty settles her business with Mr. Spenlow and leaves, while Spenlow and David go to hear a divorce case in court. The... (full context)
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David finally drops the issue of the Commons, but he and Mr. Spenlow continue to chat. Eventually, Mr. Spenlow invites David to a picnic on Dora's birthday the... (full context)
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When David arrives at Mr. Spenlow 's, he finds Dora sitting in the garden with Jip and a friend named Miss... (full context)
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Mr. Spenlow appears, and he, Dora, and Miss Mills take a carriage to their destination, with David... (full context)
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...and sings, and David continues to be deliriously happy. After tea, they return home with Mr. Spenlow , who falls asleep in the carriage. Miss Mills asks David to ride alongside her... (full context)
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...sitting next to one another on the sofa, engaged. Dora says she won't marry without Mr. Spenlow 's permission, but David admits that they really had very little idea of marriage, or... (full context)
Chapter 35: Depression
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...apprenticeship and recover the premium Miss Betsey had paid. He arrives there early and waylays Mr. Spenlow , asking to speak with him. Once in Mr. Spenlow's office, David explains what has... (full context)
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David is "bewildered" by his interactions with Mr. Spenlow and Mr. Jorkins, but realizes he will not be able to get the premium back.... (full context)
Chapter 38: A Dissolution of Partnership
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Meanwhile, David is still working at Doctors' Commons, where he arrives one day to find Mr. Spenlow looking serious. Sternly, Mr. Spenlow asks David to come with him to a nearby coffeehouse,... (full context)
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Mr. Spenlow asks David what he has to say for himself, and David accepts total responsibility for... (full context)
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...that follows, David tries to think of a way to leave. Before he can, however, Mr. Spenlow reminds David that he is a wealthy man, and David assures Mr. Spenlow that that... (full context)
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David returns to work in despair and tormented by thoughts of Mr. Spenlow and Miss Murdstone terrorizing Dora. He therefore writes a letter to Mr. Spenlow begging him... (full context)
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...up and the other clerks standing around outside. One of these clerks informs David that Mr. Spenlow has died, and David is so shocked he nearly faints. When he recovers, the clerk... (full context)
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...later at work, Mr. Jorkins tells David that he would like his help going through Mr. Spenlow 's desk. David is anxious to know what will become of Dora, so he agrees,... (full context)
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...Mills for news of Dora, but Dora can only bring herself to call out for Mr. Spenlow whenever David is mentioned. He does learn, however, that Dora will be going to live... (full context)
Chapter 39: Wickfield and Heep
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...and from his office in Doctors' Commons, where business has suffered in the wake of Mr. Spenlow 's death. In fact, David is less certain than ever about his future as a... (full context)
Chapter 41: Dora's Aunts
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Miss Lavinia explains that she and Miss Clarissa were somewhat estranged from Mr. Spenlow , and that his death has in any case changed Dora's circumstances. Furthermore, she think... (full context)
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...at which point Miss Clarissa interrupts to say that they would understand Dora better if Mr. Spenlow had sometimes invited them to dinner. Finally, Lavinia announces that she and her sister are... (full context)