David Copperfield

by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield

David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens. Like most of his works, it originally appeared in serial form a year earlier. Many elements within the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of all of his novels.

Source: Dickens, C. (1850) David Copperfield London, England; Bradbury & Evans

Prefaces, (1850 and 1869)
The author's preface.
Chapter 1: I Am Born
The narrator describes the circumstances of his birth.
Chapter 2: I Observe
David shares some of his earliest memories.
Chapter 3: I Have a Change
Peggotty takes David to Yarmouth where he meets his nephew and niece. Before returning home, Peggotty tells David of his mothers marriage.
Chapter 4: I Fall into Disgrace
David returns home to find that many thing have changed.
Chapter 5: I Am Sent Away
David is sent to Salem House by Mr. Mudstone.
Chapter 6: I Enlarge My Circle of Acquaintance
Mr. Creakle gives a warning to David. David meets some of the other boys at the school.
Chapter 7: My 'First Half' at Salem House
As school begins at Salem House, David and Steerforth share stories. Mr. Peggotty and Ham visit David at school.
Chapter 8: My Holidays. Especially One Happy Afternoon
David goes home for the holidays and is introduced to a new family member.
Chapter 9: I Have a Memorable Birthday
David is sent home after receiving some bad news.
Chapter 10: I Become Neglected, and Am Provided For
After the death of David's mother, Mr. and Miss Murdstone make their intentions towards David clear. Miss Peggotty and Mr. Barkis marry.
Chapter 11: I Begin Life on My Own Account, and Don't Like It
David, now in London, works at Mr. Murdstone's winery. Mr. Micawber is sent away.
Chapter 12: Liking Life on My Own Account no Better, I Form a Great Resolution
Mr. Micawber, having resolved his debts, returns home. David decides to run away, but finds himself taken advantage of in the process.
Chapter 13: The Sequel of My Resolution
David arrives at Aunt Betsey's house.
Chapter 14: My Aunt Makes up Her Mind About Me
Aunt Betsey meets with Mr. Murdstone in order to make a decision about David.
Chapter 15: I Make Another Beginning
David and Miss Betsey go to Canterbury.
Chapter 16: I Am a New Boy in More Senses Than One
David finally meets the headmaster, and continues to make new friends at Canterbury. Jack Maldon's departure leaves Annie very emotional.
Chapter 17: Somebody Turns Up
Mr. Dick visits the school and tells David of an encounter that his Aunt Betsy has had. David's visit with the Heeps leaves him feeling manipulated.
Chapter 18: A Retrospect
David reminisces about his experiences in at Canterbury.
Chapter 19: I Look About Me and Make a Discovery
David travels to Yarmouth to visit Peggotty. While in London, David runs into an old acquaintance.
Chapter 20: Steerforth's Home
David spends a few days in London before returning to Yarmouth.
Chapter 21: Little Em'ly
While still in London with Steerforth, David pays a visit to Peggotty and receives good news about Little Em'ly and Ham.
Chapter 22: Some Old Scenes, and Some New People
David makes new friends and sees some old acquaintances.
Chapter 23: I Corroborate Mr. Dick, and Choose a Profession
With some advising from Steerforth, David decides on a future profession. David witnesses a strange encounter between Miss Betsey and a stranger. David begins to establish himself at the Doctors' Commons.
Chapter 24: My First Dissipation
David finds his new living situation to a bit lonely. A dinner leaves David feeling ill.
Chapter 25: Good and Bad Angels
Agnes warns David to be cautious of Steerforth. Uriah reveals his intentions towards Agnes.
Chapter 26: I Fall into Captivity
Mr. Spenlow invites David to his home, where he is introduced to Dora. Mrs. Crupp sees a change in David's attitude upon returning from the Spenlow home.
Chapter 27: Tommy Traddles
David visits Tommy Traddle, who lives in the same building as the Micawbers.
Chapter 28: Mr. Micawber's Gauntlet
The Micawbers and Tommy Traddles attend a dinner at David's apartment. Littimer visits David in search of Steerforth. David advises Tommy in regards to Mr. Micawber's situation.
Chapter 29: I Visit Steerforth at His Home, Again
David spends time with Miss Dartle and Mrs. Steerforth, who is alarmed by her son's prolonged absence.
Chapter 30: A Loss
David pays a visit to Mr. Omer while in Yarmouth, hearing news of Little Em'ly's changed behavior. At the Peggotty house, David finds that Mr. Bargis' health is in decline.
Chapter 31: A Greater Loss
David assists Peggotty with Mr. Barkis' affairs. Not unlike Steerforth, Little Em'ly is nowhere to be found.
Chapter 32: The Beginning of a Long Journey
Mr. Peggotty, determined to find Little Em'ly, asks David for his assistance. Miss Mowcher tells David about her unintentional part in the Peggotty family debacle. Mr. Peggotty and David visit Mrs. Steerforth.
Chapter 33: Blissful
David brings Mr. Peggotty to the Doctors' Commons. Mr. Spenlow extends an invitation to David. Dora and David's reconciliation results in a secret arrangement.
Chapter 34: My Aunt Astonishes Me
Tommy visits David, and informs him of Mr. Micawber's current financial situation. Tommy asks a favor of Mr. Peggotty. Miss Betsey receives some bad news.
Chapter 35: My Depression
David admits his feelings for Dora to Miss Betsey, who reacts unexpectedly to the news. David attempts to recoup some money for Miss Betsey. Agnes informs David of her own family's situation.
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
David decides he will use the new situation to his advantage. Dr. Strong agrees to hire David as his secretary. David becomes suspicious of Jack Malden's intentions towards Annie. Mr. Micawber tells David and Tommy of his plans in Canterbury.
Chapter 37: A Little Cold Water
David tells Dora about his current financial situation, causing Dora to become visibly upset.
Chapter 38: A Dissolution of Partnership
The discovery of a secret arrangement is followed by unexpected tragedy.
Chapter 39: Wickfield and Heep
David drops by to check on Miss Betsey's house, then head to Canterbury to visit old friends. Uriah Heep and his mother dominate affairs at the Wickfield estate.
Chapter 40: The Wanderer
David runs into Mr. Peggotty, who is still searching for Little Em'ly.
Chapter 41: Dora's Aunts
David receives a welcomed letter from Dora's aunt, prompting David to pay visit.
Chapter 42: Mischief
Mr. Wickfield and Agnes visit the Strongs. David's encounter with Uriah leaves him feeling morally inferior.
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
David and Dora are married. 
Chapter 44: Our Housekeeping
Dora and David begin their life's together.
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Predictions
Mr. Dick drops by to see David. Mr. Dick feels compelled to intervene in the Strong's affairs.
Chapter 46: Intelligence
One evening, David is called into the Steerforth home, where he is told news about Little Em'ly.
Chapter 47: Martha
Mr. Peggotty and David asks Martha for some assistance in finding Little Em'ly. Miss Betsey's past continues to haunt her.
Chapter 48: Domestic
David's hopes for domestic bliss are not fulfilled.
Chapter 49: I Am Involved in Mystery
David and Tommy Traddles are called to the Micawber home.
Chapter 50: Mr. Peggotty's Dream Comes True
With Martha's help, Little Em'ly is finally found.
Chapter 51: The Beginning of a Longer Journey
David and Miss Betsey are told Little Em'ly's story. Mr. Peggotty and Little Em'ly decide to leave.
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
Uriah Heep's dealings come to light.
Chapter 53: Another Retrospect
Dora's health continues to decline.
Chapter 54: Mr. Micawber's Transactions
Mr. Micawber considers a move abroad. Tommy Traddles has good news for both the Wickfield's and Miss Betsey. David and Miss Betsey attend a funeral.
Chapter 55: Tempest
David delivers Little Em'ly's letter to Ham. David witnesses a tragedy on the coast.
Chapter 56: The New Wound, and the Old
David visits Mrs. Steerforth, now an invalid, to deliver some bad news.
Chapter 57: The Emigrants
Prior to departure, Mr. Micawber considers his prospects in Australia.
Chapter 58: Absence
David eventually settles abroad, where he finally begins to come to terms with past events.
Chapter 59: Return
David returns to London where he visits with old friends and acquaintances.
Chapter 60: Agnes
David divulges his true feelings to Agnes.
Chapter 61: I Am Shown Two Interesting Penitents
David accepts an invitation from Mr. Creakle, where he encounters Uriah and Littimer.
Chapter 62: A Light Shines on My Way David Copperfield
Agnes and David's relationship continues to flourish.
Chapter 63: A VIsitor
Mr. Peggotty pays a visit to David and Agnes.
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
David reflects on the present state of affairs.
  • Year Published: 1850
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 7.5
  • Word Count: 368,017
  • Genre: Realism
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, 9th century literature, british literature
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