The editor has made necessary typographical corrections and carefully introduced and annotated the text for the student reader. Dickens' number plans for David Copperfield, which reveal his practice both as a serial writer and as a craftsman, are also included. "Backgrounds" focuses on Dickens' personal involvement with and response to the novel's publication. Included are passages from his letters relating to David Copperfield, an autobiographical fragment, his preface to the 1869 edition of the novel, and a relevant excerpt from Little Dorrit. "Criticism" is comprised of twelve essays by distinguished Dickensians representing a wide range of judgment and analysis. John Forster, Matthew Arnold, E. K. Brown, Gwendolyn B. Needham, Monroe Engel, J. Hillis Miller, Mark Spilka, Harry Stone, Bert G. Hornback, Garrett Stewart, Robert L. Patten, and Alexander Walsh provide a variety of perspectives. A Chronology of Dickens' Life and Works and a Selected Bibliography are also included.