Charles Dickens's David Copperfield

A Routledge Study Guide and Sourcebook

Edited by Richard J. Dunn

© 2003 – Routledge

184 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415275422
pub: 2003-12-18
US Dollars$29.95
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Hardback: 9780415275415
pub: 2003-12-18
US Dollars$105.00
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About the Book

This guidebook offers the ideal introduction to one of the most enduringly popular works of the nineteenth century. Richard J. Dunn first places David Copperfield in its social, biographical and literary contexts, touching upon such fascinating issues as autobiography and Victorian social conditions, before offering a handy chronology and reprinted documents from the period. In a second section, 'Interpretations', he traces responses to the novel from the first reviews to modern criticism and reprints extracts from key critical works. The overview and extracts together offer insight into a remarkable range of issues, from the novel's humour to its reflections of class and gender structures. The section also considers the long history of stage and screen interpretations of Dickens's highly dramatic text. The third major section pulls together text and context by reprinting key passages of the novel, carefully cross-referenced to materials in the previous sections. The links between text, context and criticism enable original readings of the novel and detailed, accessible headnotes to the extracts further enrich our understanding of the work. A final section suggests targeted further reading. Read from beginning to end or used as a reference tool, this sourcebook reveals the varied life of David Copperfield in the hands of generations of readers, critics and adaptors, and ensures that it will continue to thrive. An ideal introduction to one of Dicken's most popular novels, this text includes autobiography, text interpretations, period illustrations, stage and screen history, and key passages carefully cross-referenced to earlier material.

About the Editor

Richard J. Dunn is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Washington. He has published numerous studies of Victorian authors and has edited David Copperfield: An Annotated Bibliography (1981, supplement with Ann Tandy 2000) and Approaches to Teaching Dickens's David Copperfield (1984).

About the Series

Routledge Guides to Literature

Routledge Guides to Literature are clear introductions to authors and texts most frequently studied by undergraduate students of literature. Each book explores texts, contexts and criticism, highlighting the critical views and contextual factors that students must consider in advanced studies of literary works.
Each guide presents a variety of approaches and interpretations, encouraging readers to think critically about 'standard' views and to make independent readings of literary texts. Alongside general guides to texts and authors, the series includes 'sourcebooks', which incorporate extracts from key contextual and critical materials as well as annotated passages from the primary text.
Some books in this series were originally published in the Routledge Literary Sourcebook series, edited by Duncan Wu, or the Complete Critical Guide to English Literature series, edited by Richard Bradford and Jan Jedrzjewski.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FIC000000
FICTION / General
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General