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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Paperback – October 4, 2012
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"The most perfect of all the Dickens novels."
--Virginia Woolf --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Charles Dickens(1812 70) had astounding success with his first novel, "The Pickwick Papers," and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned, and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving, and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. Of all his many works, he called"David Copperfield"his "favourite child."
Jeremy Tambling(introduction) is a professor of literature at the University of Manchester.
Coralie Bickford-Smith(cover design) is an award-winning designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several highly acclaimed series designs. She studied typography at Reading University and lives in London." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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With wit, complexity and lack of guile, Dickens' winds through an unflattering vision of the Victorian legal system, to heartrending household drama, to an investigation of homicide. All characters are intricately drawn, hitting a compelling balance between austere emotional honesty and caricature subjects.
At the outset, we are introduced to Richard Carstone and Ada Clare, two young orphans and wards of Chancery, who learn they are potential heirs to a vast fortune. As they learn more about their prospective windfall, they quickly find out that their destiny is at the hands of a shady legal system. Notwithstanding, the two orphans, particularly the young and naïve Richard Carstone, become entangled in a colossal protracted legal battle for their fortune, known as "Jarndyce & Jarndyce".
But at the root of the story is another orphan, Esther Summerson - poor and plain, trustworthy and kind - whose unknown descent proves to be entwined with the cool and aloof Lady Dedlock, a rich noble woman of 'dubious breeding'. The story unfolds further as Esther, and the young wards of court, Ada and Richard, are sent to live with a kind-hearted and benevolent guardian, John Jarndyce. While developing a deep love for Esther, which is truly touching and yet ultimately abandoned, John Jarndyce harbors a deeply unsettled past which inevitably comes to light.
Dickens ambitious "Bleak House" has fast become a personal favourite, and is a masterpiece that can be enjoyed over and over again - and has been, for generations.
I did not use the audio book version of this, so I can't comment on its quality.
Overall, an entertaining and fun read.
Dickens is an author form Victorian England from the 1800s, so be aware that often the way his characters talk and describe things will make it a little difficult to understand at first reading, I often had to re-read passages to understand them. What's more this is a really long novel. Don't let this put you off though! Just take it slow and allow yourself to be captured by the characters and plot you will find this an incredible journey,
The characters verge on being caricatures but draw you in despite yourself. The lifestyle and culture of the time is an education without even intending to be and mostly effortless though you will have to apply yourself sometimes. More importantly, this book contains some of the most heartrendingly beautiful prose I have come across. In particular the death of one of the main characters is so delicately expressed, that I read it multiple times to be sure I understood it, and then read it several more times to savour it's beauty.
Yes this is a little too tidy and neat in it's beginning to end storyline with all the loose ends tied up, (though we are well used to that with modern day movies) but it is satisfying and at the end very gratifying. Bottom line, this is well worth the time and effort you ill put into it. Persevere and enjoy!
As an adult I re-read it not long ago, and found the later, grownup David a bit of a prig - and the story of Little Emily so flavored by Victorian 'morality' as to be incredible. Dickens paints with a broad brush: nuance isn't his thing. But it's real! He lived this stuff!
There are other giants here, now household words: Micawber, Uriah Heep, Aunt Betsy Trotwood - and - the Murdstones. The reader may think "Aw - come on!" but he keeps reading.
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