Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Review of "Classics Illustrated: David Copperfield," by Charles Dickens

 Review of

Classics Illustrated: David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

Five out of five stars

A combination of autobiography and historical fiction

 England in the time of Dickens was experiencing a booming economy as the Industrial Revolution was in full expansion mode. Great wealth was being created, yet much of it was built on the backs of the less fortunate. Some of the experiences of David Copperfield are autobiographical, gleaned from the life of Dickens. Dickens also engages in a great deal of social satire regarding the conditions in England.

 In this book Dickens covers the often rough discipline that was considered part of schooling children, how women were completely subservient to their husbands, cruel child labor at very low wages and people being thrown into debtor’s prisons when they fall too far behind. All considered normal at the time, yet there were glimmerings of the potential for change. Both historically and in this novel.

 It is a complex novel that requires some knowledge of the history of England in the time period in order to completely understand it. The essence of the novel is captured in this comic, but there are limits to the depth that can be achieved, even with the help of the images. It can serve as a primer for classes in English literature, but only at that level. I recommend the comic in the hope that it will prompt the reader to read the whole book. It is well worth the effort, for the novel is a worthy addition to classes in English literature and history.

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