I remarked in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it
easy to get sufficiently far away from it, in the first sensations of having
finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading
would seem to require. My interest in it was so recent and strong, and my
mind was so divided between pleasure and regret-pleasure in the achievement
of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions-that I was
in danger of wearying the reader with personal confidences and private emotions.
Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I
had endeavoured to say in it. It would concern the reader little, perhaps,
to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years'
imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion
of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his
brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I had nothing else to tell; unless,
indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still), that no
one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I believed
it in the writing. So true are these avowals at the present day, that I
can now only take the reader into one confidence more. Of all my books,
I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent
to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as
dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of
hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD.
-- Charles Dickens 1867
Dora and David marry, and Dora proves a terrible housewife, incompetent in her chores. David loves her anyway and is generally happy. Mr. Dick facilitates a reconciliation between Doctor Strong and Annie, who was not, in fact, cheating on her husband. Miss Dartle, Mrs. Steerforth’s ward, summons David and informs him that Steerforth has left Little Em’ly. Miss Dartle adds that Steerforth’s servant, Littimer, has proposed to her and that Little Em’ly has run away. David and Mr. Peggotty enlist the help of Little Em’ly’s childhood friend Martha, who locates Little Em’ly and brings Mr. Peggotty to her. Little Em’ly and Mr. Peggotty decide to move to Australia, as do the Micawbers, who first save the day for Agnes and Miss Betsey by exposing Uriah Heep’s fraud against Mr. Wickfield.