The story of David Copperfield (1850) began as a memoir of Dickens' boyhood experiences in a blacking factory and grew into one of his most popular novels, echoing aspects of the author's own life and providing a wealth of famous characters.
Creepy Uriah Heep and the cruel Murdstones are here, with faithful Peggoty and David's formidable Aunt Betsey Trotwood; not forgetting the ever-optimistic Mr Micawber, who is a portrait of Dickens' own improvident father.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.