My result for The Classics Club’s 11th Spin feature was David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. This was a perfect read for over the Christmas period sadly my reading of it dropped off in January however I was hooked by it again in February.
This is a tale of another young orphaned boy, David. Life in Victorian England could be cold and harsh, and David finds this out at a very tender age when his young, delicate mother and his baby brother both tragically die. Which leaves David under the tyranny of his cruel step-father; who cuts David off from those he loves, sends him to a miserable school, and finally packs him off, as still only a young child, to work in London. David’s only reprieve from the misery is the loving communication and visits his spends with his old nurse Peggotty and her colourful family on the coast.
You can’t help but like David, he is a loving, kind and alert child which is proven by the many friends he makes. Friendships with the charming Steerforth, the theatrical Micawber family, the reliable Traddles, and the ever-loving Peggotty family, formed during hardship and loss, are still cherished and never forgotten by David as he grows and prospers. Fortunately after suffering much David is given the break he deserves when he comes under the care of his eccentric, spinster aunt; Betsey Trotwood. Who while not naturally maternal is a fiercely protective woman who is able to offer him a comfortable home and education; which enables him to be the man we will see him become.
In this tale we able to meet another great host of Dickens trademark, over the top and colourful characters for us to love and hate. I know his characters aren’t to everyone’s taste but for me they are some of the best-loved and certainly some of the most memorable characters you will ever meet. I have already mentioned many from this tale above however I would like to point out a few more I loved: the wonderful Agnes, mad Mr Dick with his kite, loyal, old Mr Peggotty, and the slimy, creepy and ‘umble’ Uriah Heep. The only character I had little interest in was David’s love interest, Dora, and sadly it was the long wooing sections that significantly slowed down my reading of this otherwise great read.
This is now my 7th book I have read by Charles Dickens and I am finding the more I read the easier I am finding it to read his rather convoluted and highly detailed writing style; I found it very easy to get into the flow and lose myself in this story. As well as creating colourful, memorable characters I think Dickens really can weave a wonderful story and this was no exception. I felt it had the perfect balance of dark, trying and heart breaking moments with the lighter, loving and sometimes comic moments. As I said above the only section I didn’t enjoy that much was the long wooing of Dora however I could see the point of it later on in the book.
David Copperfield was another charming and moving tale of the hardships, loss but also simple joy and love that could be found in Victorian England. I look forward to reading more by Charles Dickens; in particularly I still have A Tale of Two Cities and Little Dorrit on my Classics Club list. Good read.
Have you read this? What Dickens’ novel do you think I should read next?
The Classics Club – 38/50