The library will sponsor a book discussion featuring David Copperfield by Charles Dickens on Monday, February 20 at 7:00 PM. The discussion will be free and open to the public, and copies of the book are available to borrow in advance.
David Copperfield is not only one of Dickens's most popular and enduring books, it is also the novel in which he drew most directly on autobiographical material. In particular, the episode in which the young protagonist is sent to work in a factory is reminiscent of the author's own childhood experience of working ten-hour days in a boot-blacking factory to help support his family.
Dickens is particularly famous for the many memorable characters he created, and David Copperfield features two of the best remembered, Wilkins Micawber and Uriah Heep. The impecunious but ever-hopeful Mr. Micawber, who is jailed for debt in the course of the novel, is generally considered to be modeled on Dickens's own father, who was also imprisoned for debt. The name of the odious Uriah Heep, meanwhile, has become a synonym for manipulative and malevolent sycophancy.
Like most of Dickens's novels, David Copperfield was first published in serial form; it appeared as a book in 1850. It was the author's first novel to be written in the first person, and Dickens subsequently declared it to be his own favorite from among all his novels.
This discussion is part of our series featuring the works of Charles Dickens in honor of the bicentennial of his birth this year.