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An Introduction to Charles Dickens

In this introduction to Charles Dickens and David Copperfield, Dr. White discusses the beloved author’s great success early in life with his very first novel and how it came about from his job as a journalist. He speaks about Charles Dickens’ special preference for David Copperfield and his belief that it was Dickens’ very best novel, giving anecdotes of people in his life who were singularly touched by the novel and the realness of his characters. Dr. White describes the serial format in which Dickens’ novels appeared and how they affected his writing. Dr. White discusses Dickens’ influence on the great writers of the twentieth century, especially of the Russian school, and his amazing ability to write children and bring the reader into the child’s point of view – an ability that shows, in Dr. White’s opinion, that there was some part of the great author that must have never truly grown up. From here Dr. White segues into a discussion of the importance of fairytales in a child’s formation, for fairytales help children discover the moral order. He characterizes Dickens’ works as fairytales for adults.

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