Reading David CopperfieldResource Handbook for Teaching and Study
In this first section, articles that put David Copperfield in the context of Victorian culture are arranged in roughly the order readers encounter the topics in the novel. Some of the situations David finds himself in may be puzzling to modern readers; these articles are meant to deepen the reader’s understanding and interpretation of David’s story.
This second section introduces a variety of approaches and styles of interpretation of David Copperfield. Two writers specifically address the novel as teachers. In answer to those who complain of the novel’s length and verbosity, a section of Robert Graves’ The Real David Copperfield, is included.
Illustration, film, theatre, and other creative media add to the overall impression left upon readers of David Copperfield. This section contains discussions of the illustrations in the original edition of the novel and a description of the production of the 1934 Hollywood movie. Two scripts are included: one accompanies the slides of Dickens’ legal London, the other follows the performance by the Dickens Players on video and audio tape.
This section, of special interest to teachers of David Copperfield, is further divided into five parts, notes on the bottom of each page. The lesson plans in “Overview” approach the teaching of the novel as a whole, which may assist the instructor daunted by the novel’s length. Assignments in “Pre-reading” introduce student to Victorian culture and the autobiographical elements of David’s life. The classroom activities of “Discussion and Study” bring the novel into the students’ personal experience. Innovative assignments in “Writing” and the activities of “Projects and Assignments” are especially suited to be done after the students have developed familiarity with the story and its characters.
Reading David Copperfield, Resource Handbook for Teaching and Study. Baumgarten, Murray, et al. Santa Cruz: The Dickens Project, 1990.
Peter F. Anson
Hablot K. Brown
William J. Carlton
J. H. Clapham
M. H. Clapham
Lady Jane Clutterbuck (Catherine Dickens)
Richard J. Dunn
Albert D. Hutter
John O. Jordan
Glenn K. S. Man
J. H. Newman
Hilary M. Schor
Gail Starkey Oliver
W. H. Wills