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Description - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Hugely admired by Tolstoy, David Copperfield is the novel that draws most closely from Charles Dickens's own life. Its eponymous hero, orphaned as a boy, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains. Praising Dickens's power of invention, Somerset Maugham wrote: "There were never such people as the Micawbers, Peggotty and Barkis, Traddles, Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Dick, Uriah Heep and his mother. They are fantastic inventions of Dickens's exultant imagination...you can never quite forget them." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition includes a new Introduction by Pulitzer Prize finalist David Gates, in addition to new explanatory notes.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780679783411
ISBN-10: 0679783415
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 127mm x 33mm)
Pages: 864
Imprint: Random House Inc
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Publish Date: 25-Jan-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

US Kirkus Review » A more or less self-contained excerpt from the novel, in a creative abridgement done by Dickens for one of his public readings (Anthea Bell's afterword provides notes about these performances and the texts Dickens prepared for them). The fragile pen-and-ink drawings have been flooded with watercolor and given a smudged, atmospheric look. Marks (The Fisherman and His Wife, 1991, etc.) zeroes in on the basic dramatic premise of each scene - wet and dark exteriors, warm and dry interiors, characters engaged in lively conversation or sending each other meaningful looks. Marks's storytelling skills are further demonstrated by the different sizes of the pictures, their distribution, and layout - they evocatively conjure this hearty tale, and will send readers off to the original. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city-cold, isolated with barely enough to eat-haunted him for the rest of his life. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) complete his major works. Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day.

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