David Copperfield was published in monthly parts between 1 may 1849 and 1 November 1850. The manuscript is in the Forster Collection in the Victoria & Albert Muscum, London, as are the corrected proofs. The first single-volume edition was published in 1850. Dickens wrote of the novel, ?Of all my book I like this the best.? Subsequently, legion readers have come to agree with the author?s own conclusion, possibly because it is a book written in an autobiographical form.
The story of David Copperfield is narrated by David and is arranged to demonstrate how he matures in the ways of the world and the affairs of the heart, while his character is formed by his sufferings and the lessons he derives from them. The novel is divided into three general parts: his childhood; his youth and early adult life, including his marriage to the delightful but empty-headed Dora Spenlow; and his adult maturity, including his subsequent marriage to the fair-natured and well disposed Agnes Wickfield.