About This Book
Of all Dickens's books, this is the most nearly autobiographical. Many
of the incidents reflect his memories of an impoverished and unhappy
childhood. Knowing this, we are still more in sympathy with young David's
experiences, knowing that Dickens, himself, shared them.
About Charles Dickens
The prodigious Charles Dickens, coming from an impoverished and
unhappy childhood, was a lifelong champion of hungry children and needy
families. His books had an immense impact on the social conscience of
his day. But although he pities the down-at-the-heel slackers he writes
about, he laughs at them as well as at the pompous bullies in his
stories. His massive novels are crammed with incident catastrophic
love affairs, murders, unjust accusations, lost heirs, drunken brawls,
monsters, dying children, and mistaken identities. He shows all that is
humorous, piteous, dramatic, and melodramatic about the complex lives
of his many hundreds of memorable characters, and frequently . . . all
at the same time!
His great books include (to name only a few): "David Copperfield,"
Oliver Twist," "A Christmas Carol," "Bleak House," "Dombey and Son,
"Nicholas Nickelby," "Hard Times," "Little Dorrit," "The Old Curiosity
Shop," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "Great Expectations."
Dickens was a tireless showman. Rewarded with wealth and fame in his
own time, he undertook a massive (and lucrative) campaign of public
reading late in his life. He went to America in 1867 and won the hearts
of the American public, which he had previously alienated by his abuse
of America's customs and manners in the novel "Martin Chuzzlewit".
A social reformer in life as well as in his prolific writing, Dickens's
novels helped lead to reforms in schools, nursing, and public health,
and were instrumental in abolishing imprisonment for debt.