"I have in my heart of hearts a favorite child. And his name is David Copperfield," wrote Dickens of what is the most personal, certainly one of the most popular, of all his novels. This, his eighth novel, was published in twenty parts from May 1849 to November 1850. Dickens wrote the book after the completion of a fragment of autobiography recalling his employment as a child in a London warehouse, and the first-person narrative was a new departure for him stylistically. The embodiment of his boyhood experience in the novel involved a 'complicated interweaving of truth and fiction', at its most subtle in the portrait of his father as Mr. Micawber, one of Dickens' greatest comic creations. Enjoying a humor that never becomes caricature, the reader shares David's affection for the eccentric Betsey Trotwood and her protege Mr. Dick, and smiles with the narrator at the trials he endures in his love for the delightfully silly Dora. The settings - East Anglia and the London of the 1820s - people and events are unified by their relationship to the story of Steerforth's treachery.
David Copperfield is introduced by H.M. Daleski, formerly President of the International Dickens Society and Chairman of the Department of English at the Hebrew University. He is the author of Dickens and the Art of Analogy, The Divided Heroine, Unities: Studies in the English Novel, and other books.