David Copperfield

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Title page of the book

David Copperfield, (full title: The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account) is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens and is about the life and times of a man in 1800s England. It was first published as a serial 1849–50, and as a book in 1850. Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of his novels.


  • Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
    • Chapter 1.
  • You'll find us rough, sir, but you'll find us ready.
    • Chapter 3.
  • I feel it more than other people.
  • I am a lone lorn creetur... and everythink goes contrairy with me.
    • Chapter 3.
  • I'd better go into the house, and die and be a riddance!
    • Chapter 3.
  • Ye-es. Barkis is willin'.
    • Chapter 5.
  • I live on broken wittles - and I sleep on the coals.
    • Chapter 5.
  • [A] loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom...
    • Chapter 9. Often quoted as "A loving heart is the truest wisdom".
  • "David," said Mr. Murdstone, "to the young this is a world for action; not for moping and droning in."
    • Chapter 10.
  • When I lived at home with papa and mama, I really should have hardly understood what the word meant, in the sense in which I now employ it, but experientia does it, — as papa used to say.
    • Chapter 11.
  • "My other piece of advice, Copperfield," said Mr. Micawber, "you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and — and in short you are for ever floored. As I am!"
    • Chapter 12.
  • I never will desert Mr. Micawber.
    • Chapter 12.
  • It's a mad world. Mad as Bedlam, boy!
    • Chapter 14.
  • Because, if it was so long ago, how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head, after it was taken off, into mine?
    • Chapter 14.
  • "It's very strange," said Mr. Dick ... "that I never can get that quite right; I never can make that perfectly clear."
    • Chapter 14.
  • "Never," said my aunt, "be mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you."
    • Chapter 15.
  • I am well aware that I am the umblest person going... My mother is likewise a very umble person. We live in a numble abode, Master Copperfield, but have much to be thankful for.
    • Chapter 16.
  • There ain't no sort of orse that I ain't bred, and no sort of dorg. Orses and dorgs is some men's fancy. They're wittles and drink to me - lodging, wife, and children - reading, writing, and Arithmetic - snuff, tobacker, and sleep.
    • Chapter 19.
  • I only ask for information.
    • Chapter 20.
  • "It was as true," said Mr. Barkis, "as turnips is. It was as true," said Mr. Barkis, nodding his nightcap, which was his only means of emphasis, "as taxes is. And nothing's truer than them."
  • I find my breath gets short, but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. I take it as it comes, and make the most of it.
    • Chapter 21.
  • What a world of gammon and spinach it is, though, ain't it!
    • Chapter 22.
  • He is quite a good fellow - nobody's enemy but his own.
    • Chapter 25.
  • Other things are all very well in their way, but give me Blood!
    • Chapter 25.
  • I assure you she's the dearest girl!
    • Chapter 27.
  • Accidents will occur in the best regulated families; and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances the—a—I would say, in short, by the influence of Woman, in the lofty character of Wife, they may be expected with confidence, and must be borne with philosophy.
    • Chapter 28.
  • Ride on! Rough-shod if need be, smooth-shod if that will do, but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles, and win the race!
    • Chapter 28.
  • A long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull altogether, my hearties, hurrah!
    • Chapter 30.
  • I ate umble pie with an appetite.
    • Chapter 39.
  • Let sleeping dogs lie — who wants to rouse 'em?
    • Chapter 39.
  • I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time.
    • Chapter 42.
  • My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.
    • Chapter 42.
  • Britannia, that unfortunate female, is always before me, like a trussed fowl: skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape.
    • Chapter 43.
  • It’s only my child-wife!
    • Chapter 44.
  • There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.
    • Chapter 45.
  • A man must take the fat with the lean.
    • Chapter 51.
  • [T]rifles make the sum of life.
    • Chapter 53.
  • "The labour is so pleasant,"said Agnes,"that it is scarcely grateful in me to call it by that name."
    • Chapter 60.
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