Modern Library, Paperback, 9780679783411, 896pp.
Publication Date: November 28, 2000
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.
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."
"The most perfect of all the Dickens novels."