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David Copperfield  : In Half The Time - A Compact Edition - Charles Dickens

David Copperfield

In Half The Time - A Compact Edition

Paperback

Published: 3rd May 2007
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David Copperfield : in half the time.

David Copperfield's happy childhood is abruptly ended by his mother's remarriage to Mr Murdstone. After enduring the misery of Salem House Academy and a life of drudgery in his step father's business, he runs away to his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood, in Dover, and transforms his life a second time - finding friendship with the ever optimistic Mr Micawber and falling in love with the adorable but spoilt Dora.

But David has to face tragedy, and outface the scheming Uriah Heep before he finds ultimate happiness.

About the Author

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. In 1824, his father was imprisoned for debt, so Charles was sent to work in a shoe-dye factory. He later became a clerk in a law firm, a shorthand reporter in the courts, and a parliamentary and newspaper reporter. In 1833, Dickens began to contribute short stories and essays to periodicals, heralding the start of a glittering and prolific literary career.

He married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, with whom he had nine surviving children before they separated in 1858. Dickens died suddenly at home on June 9, 1870, leaving behind an internationally acclaimed canon of work, including Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friend. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

About the Editor

Michael Slater is Professor of Victorian Literature at Birkbeck College in the University of London. He was editor of The Dickensian (1968-77) and President of the International Dickens Fellowship (1988-90). He has published many books and articles on Dickens.

ISBN: 9780753822685
ISBN-10: 0753822687
Series: Compact Editions
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 410
Published: 3rd May 2007
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.1  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.3

Charles Dickens

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature

Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, the second of eight children. Dickens's childhood experiences were similar to those depicted in David Copperfield. His father, who was a government clerk, was imprisoned for debt and Dickens was briefly sent to work in a blacking warehouse at the age of twelve.

He received little formal education, but taught himself shorthand and became a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. He began to publish sketches in various periodicals, which were subsequently republished as Sketches by Boz. The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836–7 and after a slow start became a publishing phenomenon and Dickens's characters the centre of a popular cult.

Part of the secret of his success was the method of cheap serial publication which Dickens used for all his novels. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41).After finishing Barnaby Rudge (1841) Dickens set off for America; he went full of enthusiasm for the young republic but, in spite of a triumphant reception, he returned disillusioned. His experiences are recorded in American Notes (1842). Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–4) did not repeat its predecessors' success but this was quickly redressed by the huge popularity of the Christmas Books, of which the first, A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843.

During 1844–6 Dickens travelled abroad and he began Dombey and Son while in Switzerland. This and David Copperfield (1849–50) were more serious in theme and more carefully planned than his early novels. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage.

In 1850 Dickens started the weekly periodical Household Words, succeeded in 1859 by All the Year Round; in these he published Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61). Dickens's health was failing during the 1860s and the physical strain of the public readings which he began in 1858 hastened his decline, although Our Mutual Friend (1865) retained some of his best comedy.

His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and he died on 9 June 1870. Public grief at his death was considerable and he was buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

A Note on our choice

The Works of Charles Dickens are available in many different editions, published by many different publishers.

The Booktopia Book Guru has recommended the Penguin Black Classic paperback editions here, as Australian readers have had a long established relationship with the Penguin Black Classic editions, with their informative and erudite introductions and notes.

There are, however, other options (see the series tab below). Both Oxford Classics and Vintage Classics publish Dickens, with notes and introductions. As do many US publishing houses.

Wordsworth Classics publish cheaper, no frills, editions of the classics, Dickens included, but the cheapest option, for those who have don’t want to read the classics but have to in order to pass a course, the US publisher, Dover, issues a thrift edition: these are cheap and cheerful, read and discard productions, which offer nothing but the text.

Visit Charles Dickens's Booktopia Author Page