David Copperfield Book Summary - David Copperfield Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

David Copperfield summary

Charles Dickens

Venture Into a Classic Tale of Resilience and Growth

19 mins

Brief summary

David Copperfield is a classic novel by Charles Dickens that tells the story of the titular character's journey from a troubled childhood to adulthood. Filled with unforgettable characters and poignant moments, it is a timeless tale of resilience and redemption.

Table of Contents

    David Copperfield
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    David Copperfield’s England.

    The story of David Copperfield begins – 

    Wait. Before we start, let’s take a moment to set the scene.

    Over the course of this story, you’ll be taken across England, and through the nineteenth century, but the heart of the tale takes place in Victorian London, in the 1840s and 1850s. This was a time of rapid urban growth and industrialization, a time when the divide between rich and poor was growing increasingly stark. Reflecting this, the city’s streets were a study in contradiction. Along the grander avenues in the city center, well-appointed carriages clattered over cobblestones, carrying ladies in expensive gowns and gentlemen in finely tailored suits past grand buildings and stores selling luxury wares, like satin gloves, imported teas, watches, and jewelry. 

    Take a turn down one of the narrow side-streets, though, and the scene quickly shifts. Ramshackle tenements lean perilously against each other. Inside, up to dozens of families live, crammed into stifling quarters. The air is thick with the smell of burning coal and raw sewage. The genteel clip-clop of horse hooves on cobbled streets has given way to the clanking and grinding noises that emanate from the factories and workhouses, the laughter and shouts that spill from the open doors of local ale houses, the crying of babies, the sing-song slogans of street vendors hawking their wares, the rasp of knives on the knife-grinders whetstone. 

    Like London itself, David Copperfield bustles with a cast of characters from across the social spectrum, all trying to find their fortunes and assert their place in Victorian society. In the story, beginning in the Suffolk countryside, you’ll meet David’s gentle mother, Clara, and the steadfast family servant Peggotty, as well as Peggotty’s family – fishing people who live on the beach at Yarmouth. You’ll follow David to London where you’ll encounter the penniless but ever-optimistic Mr. Micawber, and his charming yet calculating schoolfriend Steerforth. And you’ll get to know some of David’s most loyal friends: his eccentric great-aunt, Betsey Trotwood, and the steadfast Agnes Wickfield. 

    The most memorable character, of course, is the titular David Copperfield. Shall we get acquainted with him?

    Want to see all full key ideas from David Copperfield?

    Key ideas in David Copperfield

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is David Copperfield about?

    David Copperfield (1850) follows the life of David Copperfield, from his troubled childhood and turbulent adolescence to his growth into a successful writer. It vividly portrays his struggles, relationships, and the colorful characters he encounters, and reflects the complex social issues of Victorian England.

    David Copperfield Review

    David Copperfield (1850) by Charles Dickens is a captivating novel that takes readers on a tumultuous journey through the life of an orphaned protagonist. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its richly developed characters and intricate plot, the book immerses readers in a Victorian world full of drama, love, and adversity.
    • Exploring themes like resilience, social class, and personal growth, the story offers profound insights into the human condition and the power of overcoming obstacles.
    • Through Dickens' vivid descriptions and engaging storytelling, the book paints a vivid picture of 19th-century England, ensuring that readers are never bored.

    Who should read David Copperfield?

    • Lovers of literature after a pacy story studded with dramatic twists and turns
    • History buffs keen to know more about day-to-day life in 19th century England
    • Anyone interested in one of the Victorian era’s great works of fiction

    About the Author

    Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a prolific English novelist and social critic, renowned for his vivid storytelling and memorable characters. Dickens achieved widespread acclaim with novels such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and Great Expectations, and he used his literary prowess to shed light on social injustices and advocate for reform in Victorian society.

    Categories with David Copperfield

    Book summaries like David Copperfield

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    David Copperfield FAQs 

    What is the main message of David Copperfield?

    The main message of David Copperfield is the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

    How long does it take to read David Copperfield?

    The reading time for David Copperfield varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is David Copperfield a good book? Is it worth reading?

    David Copperfield is worth reading for its beautifully crafted characters and absorbing storyline.

    Who is the author of David Copperfield?

    The author of David Copperfield is Charles Dickens.

    What to read after David Copperfield?

    If you're wondering what to read next after David Copperfield, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Stoic Mindset by Mark Tuitert
    • Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
    • The House of Hidden Meanings by RuPaul
    • Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan
    • Knife by Salman Rushdie
    • Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson
    • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Burnout Immunity by Kandi Wiens
    • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    • Indistractable by Nir Eyal