David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)

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9780140439441: David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)

'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels' Virginia Woolf

David Copperfield is the story of a young man's adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature's great comic creations. In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his 'favourite child' - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by 'Phiz', a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel's autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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In a preface to this novel, Dickens described David Copperfield as his “favorite child,” and the story has remained among the favorites of Dickens’ readers, too, with the characters of Betsy Trotwood, Mr. Pegotty, Uriah Heep, and Wilkins Micawber as well as David himself becoming part of the fabric of Western culture. This facsimile reprint is of the Household Edition of the Works of Charles Dickens, published in the 1870s; the edition makes the work available again in a form in which tens of thousands of Victorians read it―in two-column format, interspersed with illustrations throughout.

David Copperfield was originally published in nineteen monthly parts between May 1, 1849 and November 1, 1850.* Each part except the last was of roughly the same length; the final installment was approximately twice as long as the others (and sold for 2 shillings, twice the price of previous parts). For the original serial publication, as well as early publication in book form, David Copperfield was illustrated by Hablot Browne (more commonly known as “Phiz”).

Shortly after Dickens’ death in 1870 the British publisher Chapman & Hall began to issue the Household Edition of the Works of Charles Dickens (not to be confused with the American Household Edition of the Works, which appeared in the 1860s). The principal illustrator for the edition was Fred Barnard, and the Dalziel brothers (the leading wood-engravers of the time) created the engravings from Barnard’s illustrations; they described The Household Edition as “by far the most important commission ever placed in our hands by Messrs. Chapman & Hall.” Volumes in The Household Edition began to appear in 1871, and the series was completed in 1879. Dickens’ works appeared in a great many Victorian editions (including numerous pirated ones). Scholars have understandably paid most attention to the earliest publication in serial form; The Household Edition may well have been the most popular form in which the novel appeared, however; the plates for The Household Edition were widely used for other editions as well, and it is certainly arguable that more Victorian readers would have read Dickens’ novels in this form than in any other. In 1911 the populist bibliophile J.A. Hammerton described The Household Edition as “the most important illustrated edition” of Dickens’ works.

This is one of a series from Broadview Press of facsimile editions―editions that provide readers with a direct sense of these works as the Victorians themselves experienced them.

The breaks were as follows: I – May 1849 (chs. 1–3); II – June 1849 (chs. 4–6); III – July 1849 (chs. 7–9); IV – August 1849 (chs. 10–12); V – September 1849 (chs. 13–15); VI – October 1849 (chs. 16–18); VII – November 1849 (chs. 19–21); VIII – December 1849 (chs. 22–24); IX – January 1850 (chs. 25–27); X – February 1850 (chs. 28–31); XI – March 1850 (chs. 32–34); XII – April 1850 (chs. 35–37); XIII – May 1850 (chs. 38–40); XIV – June 1850 (chs. 41–43); XV – July 1850 (chs. 44–46); XVI – August 1850 (chs. 47–50); XVII – September 1850 (chs. 51–53); XVIII – October 1850 (chs. 54–57); XIX-XX – November 1850 (chs. 58–64).

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Book Description Softcover. Book Condition: New. Drawing on Charles Dickens's own, often difficult childhood, to create a compelling story of personal success, David Copperfield is edited with an introduction and notes by Jeremy Tambling in Penguin Classics. David Copperfield is the story of a young man's adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature's great comic creations. In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his 'favourite child' - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by 'Phiz', a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel's autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed David Copperfield, you might like Dickens's Great Expectations, also available in Penguin Classics. 'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels' Virginia Woolf. Bookseller Inventory # 5335859

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