Chesterton perhaps best summarize the experience of reading it: His family moved often throughout his childhood, living variously in Chatham, Kent and Camden Town, London. At eighteen, Dickens met Maria Beadnell whom he courted unsuccessfully until The episode left a deep impression on Dickens who subsequently based the character of Dora in David Copperfield and Estella in Great Expectations on Maria.
In , Dickens married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of a prominent theater and music critic. That same year he also met John Forster, his literary advisor and future biographer, and began serialization of his first novel The Pickwick Papers. This work as an editor and fiction writer continued throughout the rest of his life.
Dickens made his first visit to North America in , a trip he later recorded in American Notes. The story proved to be an enormous success with the general public, was dramatized and represented the first of many Christmas stories he would write over the years. These novels were followed by Bleak House From this time onwards, Dickens maintained a furious public reading schedule that proved to be a great popular and financial success. In the spring of , he initiated a new magazine All the Year Round , which began serialization of A Tale of Two Cities in weekly installments.
In the fall of , Dickens, now separated from his wife but with custody of all but one of his children, began work on Great Expectations. In the fall of , Dickens visited the United States again where he gave readings and visited with Longfellow, Emerson, and President Andrew Johnson. The following fall he began, what would prove to be, his farewell reading tour of England. On June 9, , Dickens died of a cerebral hemorrhage, leaving an estate of 93, pounds.
David Copperfield Reader’s Guide
Fiction Classics Literary Fiction print. Although Peggotty assumes heroic stature in the novel, do you find anything obsessive, or even sinister, in his reclamation of Emily? What about urban life? Currently unavailable on this website.
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The classic story by Charles Dickens retold for children ready to tackle longer and more complex stories. Part of the Usborne Reading Programme developed with reading experts at the University of Roehampton. With internet links to find out more about the life and times of Charles Dickens.
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“Bleak House” at Usborne Children’s Books
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Please try again later. More than most Dickens novels, this one needs annotations if you're really going to understand the target of the satire: Yes, you do get the basic idea without fully understanding the historical background, but the novel is much richer if you do. The Norton annotations in this regard are uniformly concise and helpful. The many allusions both to high and low culture are also glossed, and while you may be well-versed enough in the Christian Bible to do without some of these, Dickens' reading otherwise was highly idiosyncratic -- to the point that even the most well-read consumer is probably going to need a hand from time to time e.
As to the popular culture, I defy anyone other than a time traveler or historian specializing in the period to identify references to popular songs, ballads, etc. That the annotations appear at the bottom of the page -- rather than forcing you to flip to the back -- is a welcome bonus.