The story traces the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity. David was born in Blunderstone, Suffolk, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, in 1820, six months after the death of his father. Life is happy for David until his mother decides to marry Mr. Murdstone; after which, life becomes unbearable for David.
When David's mother dies, he is taken from school and put to work in a London warehouse by Mr. Murdstone, where he resides with impoverished yet amiable Micawbers. Despaired by the life of misery and utter poverty, he then runs away to his Great Aunt, Betsey Trotwood in Dover, who adopts him and puts him in a good school. While at school, he boards with a Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes. After graduation, David decides to pursue a career as a proctor on advice of his great aunt, Miss Betsey and apprentices himself at the London firm of Spenlow & Jorkins. He soon falls in love with Mr. Spenlow's daughter, Dora Spenlow and marries her. But his child- wife dies after some months.
Saddened by the loss of his wife and other events, David goes abroad for three years. When he comes back he marries Agnes Wickfield, who had always loved him and with whom he finds true happiness. David pursues his writing career with increasing commercial success. The major characters eventually get some measure of what they deserve by the end of the novel. David and Agnes lead a long and contended life.
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