Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kernel's Library: "Magic Came Very Easy For Me..."

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Book 00060: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

- David Copperfield (or The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery)

First Publication:
- 1894 by Bradbury & Evans

- Many elements within the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of all of his novels.
- Like all except five of his works, it originally appeared in serial form (published in monthly installments).
- This is Dicken's favorite, saying, "...like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield."

- BBC's Big Read (Best loved novel, 2003, No 34)
- The Observer's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time (2003)

Aside from his christmas stories, this is the first Dickens book that I finished reading. At first I was hesitant to buy any Dickens books for I thought they were "not so easy to grasp," but on the contrary they were as an easy read as you could wish for. The narration is very fluent and the story's continuity is intact despite its being a serial first published in a periodical. This grand work of a grand author is incomparable. Usually if I read biographical-like novels I tend to become sleepy but this one never allowed me to doze off or even wink a bit. I really liked this book!

Be enthralled by reading an excerpt of David Copperfield:

"I Am Born"

I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or 'there by', as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father's eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were-almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes-bolted and locked against it.

An aunt of my father's, and consequently a great-aunt of mine, of whom I shall have more to relate by and by, was the principal magnate of our family. Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome, except in the sense of the homely adage, 'handsome is, that handsome does'-for he was strongly suspected of having beaten Miss Betsey, and even of having once, on a disputed question of supplies, made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw her out of a two pair of stairs' window. These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent. He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo-or a Begum. Anyhow, from India tidings of his death reached home, within ten years. How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation, she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was understood to live secluded, ever afterwards, in an inflexible retirement.

My father had once been a favourite of hers, I believe; but she was mortally affronted by his marriage, on the ground that my mother was 'a wax doll'. She had never seen my mother, but she knew her to be not yet twenty. My father and Miss Betsey never met again. He was double my mother's age when he married, and of but a delicate constitution. He died a year afterwards, and, as I have said, six months before I came into the world.

Grade: A