David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Mr. Wickfield Character Analysis

Mr. Wickfield is Miss Betsey's lawyer and friend, who graciously allows David to board with him while attending Doctor Strong's school. He is a widower and consequently dotes on his daughter Agnes, whom he regards as his only reason for living. Mr. Wickfield's grief is heavily implied to have played a role in his alcoholism, which his apprentice (and later partner) Uriah Heep treacherously encourages. Over the course of the novel, Mr. Wickfield mentally deteriorates to such an extent that Uriah is able to convince him that he himself is responsible for the illegal business dealings that Uriah has undertaken. Fortunately, Mr. Micawber is eventually able to clear Mr. Wickfield's name by revealing Uriah's crimes, and Wickfield's life measurably improves as a result: he quits drinking and relinquishes the more obsessive side of his love for Agnes, freeing her to marry David.

Mr. Wickfield Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Wickfield or refer to Mr. Wickfield. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin edition of David Copperfield published in 2013.
Chapter 16 Quotes

"Perhaps you'll be a partner in Mr. Wickfield's business, one of these days," I said, to make myself agreeable; "and it will be Wickfield and Heep, or Heep late Wickfield."

"Oh, no, Master Copperfield," returned Uriah, shaking his head, "I am much too umble for that!"

Related Characters: David Copperfield (speaker), Uriah Heep (speaker), Mr. Wickfield
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 39 Quotes

"Weak indulgence has ruined me. Indulgence in remembrance, and indulgence in forgetfulness. My natural grief for my child's mother turned to disease; my natural love for my child turned to disease. I have infected everything I touched."

Related Characters: Mr. Wickfield (speaker), David Copperfield, Agnes Wickfield
Page Number: 482
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 54 Quotes

"When I lost the rest, I thought it wise to say nothing about that sum, but to keep it secretly for a rainy day. I wanted to see how you would come out of the trial, Trot; and you came out nobly—persevering, self-reliant, self-denying! So did Dick."

Page Number: 647
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Wickfield Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Wickfield appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: I Make Another Beginning
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...and David learns on the way that they will be going to see someone named Mr. Wickfield first. They eventually stop in front of a pretty white house, and David notices a... (full context)
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...need to forgive him for being busy on account of his "motive." This man is Mr. Wickfield , who also happens to be Miss Betsey's lawyer. As the adults talk about why... (full context)
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Miss Betsey introduces Mr. Wickfield to David and asks for advice on which school to send him to. Mr. Wickfield... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield and Miss Betsey return without having found a suitable place for David to stay. Mr.... (full context)
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As Miss Betsey prepares to leave, Mr. Wickfield and Agnes exit the room to give her and David some privacy. David thanks his... (full context)
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Later that day, David dines with Mr. Wickfield and Agnes. Afterwards, Agnes sets out glasses and port for her father and goes to... (full context)
Chapter 16: I Am a New Boy in More Senses Than One
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Mr. Wickfield takes David to school the next morning and introduces him to his new schoolmaster, who... (full context)
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Doctor Strong leads Mr. Wickfield and David to the schoolroom, which looks out on a garden. The other students are... (full context)
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...the two discuss school; Agnes receives lessons at home so that she can act as Mr. Wickfield 's "housekeeper." David remarks that Agnes's father seems to care deeply for her, and she... (full context)
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At that moment, Mr. Wickfield returns home. He praises Doctor Strong to David, saying he is an extremely kind man... (full context)
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...he wants to leave as soon as possible if he must in fact leave. Dryly, Mr. Wickfield says that there will be "as little lingering as possible," while also objecting to the... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield , David, and Agnes repeat their previous after-dinner routine, although this time Agnes also looks... (full context)
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Before David goes to bed, Mr. Wickfield —his eyes "bloodshot" from drinking—asks David whether he wants to continue living in the house... (full context)
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Later that evening, David goes to read in Mr. Wickfield 's study, but decides at the last minute to visit Uriah Heep, whom he finds... (full context)
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...says that it will be David—rather than Uriah himself—who will eventually become a partner of Mr. Wickfield 's. Uriah then leaves, but David dreams that night that Uriah is a pirate who... (full context)
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...sees Annie often, in part because she is friends with Agnes—though not, David notices, with Mr. Wickfield . (full context)
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...family. Mrs. Markleham is present at the Strongs' farewell party for Jack Maldon, which David, Mr. Wickfield , and Agnes also attend. Although she thanks Doctor Strong profusely for finding Maldon a... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield , Agnes, and David leave soon afterwards, but David then turns back to fetch a... (full context)
Chapter 19: I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery
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The conversation turns more serious as Agnes asks whether David has noticed any change in Mr. Wickfield . David admits that he has, and delicately attributes it to increased drinking. He also... (full context)
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Later, Mr. Wickfield , Agnes, and David all go to have tea at Doctor Strong's. The Doctor says... (full context)
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...same. She then reads aloud from Maldon's letter to her in order to prove to Mr. Wickfield that he is ill. When that doesn't work, she badgers Annie to show her own... (full context)
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The rest of the evening goes more smoothly, although Mr. Wickfield seems troubled and continues to shoot glances at Doctor Strong and Annie. When Annie and... (full context)
Chapter 25: Good and Bad Angels
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...a week earlier on business; Agnes believes he is going to become a partner of Mr. Wickfield 's. Outraged, David asks why Agnes hasn't tried to stop it, and she explains that... (full context)
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...partners with him), he also looked relieved. In fact, Agnes reveals that she herself encouraged Mr. Wickfield to make Uriah a partner to lessen his own workload. She is not sure whether... (full context)
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...that his promotion to a partner was unlikely, and that it is a shame that Mr. Wickfield has been so "imprudent" as to require his help. He says, however, that he is... (full context)
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...Uriah is somehow tricking or taking advantage of him, but finally manages to ask about Mr. Wickfield 's "imprudence." Uriah says that any other clerk would have had Mr. Wickfield "under his... (full context)
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...that he has not, because he hopes to win her over through his treatment of Mr. Wickfield . He therefore asks David to keep his secret and "not to go against him." (full context)
Chapter 26: I Fall into Captivity
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...about Agnes, in part because he suspects she would make "any sacrifice" on behalf of Mr. Wickfield . He cannot bring himself to voice his concerns to Agnes herself, however, and he... (full context)
Chapter 35: Depression
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As they walk, Agnes tells David that Mr. Wickfield and Uriah are in London as well; they are now partners, and Agnes has made... (full context)
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...money, Agnes looks very pale. Miss Betsey then says that she ignored the advice of Mr. Wickfield and made several imprudent investments. When she finishes her story, Agnes asks her whether she... (full context)
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There is a knock on the door, and Mr. Wickfield and Uriah Heep arrive. David notices that Mr. Wickfield looks much worse than the last... (full context)
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...makes a show of sympathizing with his situation. He also asks David how he thinks Mr. Wickfield looks and praises Agnes's beauty. He "jerks about" while saying all this, causing Miss Betsey... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield says he agrees with Uriah, and that Uriah has helped him by relieving him of... (full context)
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After Uriah leaves, the rest of the group reminisces about their time in Canterbury, and Mr. Wickfield slowly begins to seem more like himself. David attributes this to Agnes's influence, although Mr.... (full context)
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After Mr. Wickfield falls asleep, Agnes and David talk about Dora for a while, and David finds he... (full context)
Chapter 39: Wickfield and Heep
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When David reaches Mr. Wickfield 's house, he finds Mr. Micawber at work downstairs. Micawber is pleased to see him,... (full context)
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Before writing to Dora's aunts, David decides to go visit Mr. Wickfield and Uriah Heep downstairs. Uriah greets David in a "fawning" manner before taking him to... (full context)
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After dinner, David finds himself alone with Mr. Wickfield and Uriah, who "leers" and "writhes" constantly. They then rejoin Agnes and Mrs. Heep in... (full context)
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...talkative through and after dinner. He drops hints about wanting to marry Agnes and presses Mr. Wickfield to make several toasts (and, consequently, to drink heavily). David, meanwhile, is revolted by Uriah's... (full context)
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...sex," and finally saying he has more of a right to marry her than anyone. Mr. Wickfield grows more and more upset as Uriah speaks, and David finally has to physically restrain... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield breaks down and laments how far he has fallen since first meeting David. He does... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield begins crying and says that he can't even remember everything he has done under the... (full context)
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...he is getting in the coach, however, Uriah appears and informs him that he and Mr. Wickfield have already made up. David retorts that he is at least glad that Uriah apologized,... (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
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Around this time, Agnes visits Doctor Strong. Mr. Wickfield comes with her, and both Agnes and the Doctor hope the visit will do Wickfield... (full context)
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...Assuming Doctor Strong is working on the dictionary, David peeks in and sees the Doctor, Mr. Wickfield , and Uriah in the midst of an apparently serious conversation: Doctor Strong has his... (full context)
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Mr. Wickfield attempts to retract his own suspicions of Annie Strong, but Uriah claims to have witnessed... (full context)
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Doctor Strong leaves the room, accompanied by Mr. Wickfield . Uriah remarks that he didn't expect Doctor Strong's reaction, and attributes it to "blindness."... (full context)
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Prediction
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...what he knows and—at Annie's urging—explains the conversation that took place between him, Uriah Heep, Mr. Wickfield , and Doctor Strong. When he finishes, Annie finally allows Mr. Dick to help her... (full context)
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...mother's exploitation of the marriage—however unintentionally—for her own family's benefit concerned her: Annie noticed that Mr. Wickfield seemed to view her with increased suspicion, and it pained her to think about how... (full context)
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...that point, she says, she realized not only that Maldon was "false," but also that Mr. Wickfield suspected her of having an affair. She was so ashamed, however, that she couldn't bring... (full context)
Chapter 49: I Am Involved in Mystery
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...talk about a topic that has caused him so much distress. David accordingly asks about Mr. Wickfield and Agnes, and Mr. Micawber praises Agnes as the "only starry spot in a miserable... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
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...is a compliment and sends Mr. Micawber to fetch Agnes and Mrs. Heep, explaining that Mr. Wickfield 's condition keeps him busy with work—though he says this is a "pleasure as well... (full context)
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...asks him who he is—explains that he has a power of attorney to act on Mr. Wickfield 's behalf. Uriah sneers that Traddles probably tricked Mr. Wickfield into providing this, but Traddles... (full context)
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...placing Micawber in his debt, Uriah secured his cooperation in falsifying business documents and deceiving Mr. Wickfield . This plunged Mr. Micawber into a state of depression, but with Agnes's encouragement, he... (full context)
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...lay out his case against Uriah. His first "charge" is that Uriah took advantage of Mr. Wickfield 's episodes of drunkenness to convince him to sign documents withdrawing money for fabricated business... (full context)
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Mr. Micawber's second charge is that Uriah also forged Mr. Wickfield 's signature on various documents, including one in which Uriah supposedly advances money to Mr.... (full context)
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...Meanwhile, Mr. Micawber proceeds to his final charge, which is that Uriah has used both Mr. Wickfield 's supposed business misdealings and his "weaknesses," "faults," "virtues," "honor," and "parental affections" to manipulate... (full context)
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...by the collar and says she wants her property back: she explains that she thought Mr. Wickfield was responsible for its loss, so she had until this point concealed the fact that... (full context)
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..."must be done." First, he says, Uriah needs to give back the contract in which Mr. Wickfield signed away his part in the firm. More than that, Uriah needs to return all... (full context)
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...family, and invites everyone to follow him to his house. Agnes remains behind to comfort Mr. Wickfield , and Traddles stays to guard Uriah, but Mr. Dick, Miss Betsey, and David go... (full context)
Chapter 53: Another Retrospect
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...asks him whether it would be alright for her to ask Agnes to visit, given Mr. Wickfield 's condition. David assures her that he will write, and Dora thanks him, saying that... (full context)
Chapter 54: Mr. Micawber's Transactions
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...of Uriah's treachery. Furthermore, Traddles says, Mr. Dick has been very helpful, both by cheering Mr. Wickfield up and by copying important documents. Meanwhile, Mr. Wickfield has been improving steadily, and is... (full context)
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Traddles announces that, after going over all the accounts, it is clear that Mr. Wickfield could close the firm now without falling into debt. Doing so, however, would leave him... (full context)
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...can account for all the money that was lost. Miss Betsey confirms that she believed Mr. Wickfield was responsible for her losses and therefore kept quiet, and Traddles says that it was... (full context)
Chapter 60: Agnes
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...for loving Dora. Miss Betsey seems to guess what David is thinking, and says that Mr. Wickfield is a "reclaimed man," and that Agnes is "as beautiful, as earnest, [and] as disinterested"... (full context)
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David goes to Canterbury the next day and lingers outside Mr. Wickfield 's house, looking at the office where Uriah and Mr. Micawber used to work. That... (full context)
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...Miss Betsey's, but that he will spend the remainder of the day with Agnes and Mr. Wickfield . (full context)
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David returns to find Mr. Wickfield , who had been out working in a garden he has outside of town. They... (full context)
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Agnes hushes Mr. Wickfield , and he changes the subject to Agnes's mother, explaining that she married Wickfield against... (full context)
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David continues to speak, saying that Mr. Wickfield 's story seems "part of the feeling with which [David] regarded [Agnes]" at their first... (full context)
Chapter 61: I Am Shown Two Interesting Penitents
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...once hit Uriah and saying he forgives him. Furthermore, he says he hopes that David, Mr. Wickfield , Agnes, and "all of that sinful lot" will see the error of their ways:... (full context)