David Copperfield Is Born

On a most oppressively humid morning we continued with garden maintenance. Jackie weeded, planted, trimmed and composted while I dead-headed roses,

dug out two self seeded elder trees, and bagged up some of the refuse.

Steady rain set in after lunch. During a lull I dug out some brambles from the back drive borders, until a direct drenching downpour sent me dashing inside. A later let up enabled me to finish my task and grab a couple of pictures.

During the rest of the afternoon I began rereading:

The title page is accompanied by ‘I saw him lying with his head upon his arm, as I have often seen him lie at school. (p.727)’ offering an example of Mr Keeping’s imaginative perspectives.

As before, I will not add my own observations on this very well known classic, but will post Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations as I make my way along this novel of which Charles Dickens wrote in his preface to the 1869 edition: ‘Of all my books, I like this the best,’

‘ ‘Why, bless my heart!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey. ‘You are a very Baby!’ ‘

‘Mr Murdstone and I were soon off, and trotting along on the green turf’ – another vehicle for Keeping’s perspective skill.

‘We stopped to exchange an innocent kiss’ – keeping a safe distance.

Jackie had spent the afternoon at a very well catered for baby shower. She therefore had no need of a meal this evening, yet, for me she

reprised yesterday’s delicious marinaded chicken meal.


  1. I studied ‘David Copperfield’ at university and enjoyed it even more when I reread it years later for the simple pleasure of doing so!

  2. I am glad Mr Keepng’s wonderful illustrations are back. Looking forward to more of the same.
    Your yesterday’s meal looks fabulous; my compliments to the chef.

  3. Miss Betsey’s “bless my heart” reminded me of a favorite Texas expression: “Well, bless your heart.” It can translate as a true expression of sympathy, or a not so subtle way of saying, “You’re a perfect idiot.” There are a few examples here.

  4. Such wonderful, characterful drawings!
    How lovely that Jackie enjoyed a baby shower, whilst the rest of us were subjected to rather large, drenching downpour today! πŸ™‚

  5. I remember reading this (and other) Dickens’ books when I was a teenager. I like that Mr. Dickens liked this, of his books, the best. πŸ™‚
    These Mr. Keeping’s illustrations are wonderful! The faces, the flow, the details…all fabulous!
    YAY for baby showers! πŸ™‚ What a bright spot in a downpour-y day! πŸ˜€
    OH! And you didn’t miss out on a delicious meal yourself, Derrick…what Jackie reprised looks yummy! πŸ™‚
    Happy Day to you both!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…We are to have rain for the next 5 days. We hope it arrives.

  6. Very humid (and hot!) in Maine, too. Aside from “The Christmas Carol,” my favorite is “David Copperfield,” too. Nice to know I am in step with Dickens. πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m glad you got to go to a well-catered event for a happy occasion. The detail in the horse picture is interesting, especially the horse hairs.

    1. Yes. Keeping makes us think. I don’t remember that scene in the book and will have to wait until p. 727 to be reminded πŸ™‚ Thanks very much, Liz

  8. The repurposed compost bags speak volumes of vigorous maintenance underway in the garden. David Copperfield ushers in memories of days in the university, as do many other classics like The Mayor of Casterbridge, Middlemarch, Sons and Lovers, A Farewell to Arms…. I am going to enjoy Charles Keeping’s illustrations immensely.

    1. I’m so pleased that you like the Keeping illustrations. I have enough for a long time. The only book on your list I have not read is A Farewell To Arms.. I like that you understood the compost bags. Thanks very much, Uma

  9. We were fortunate in not getting the rain until the evening and it certainly was heavy for a time. Sorry you got drenched while digging out those brambles. I am looking forward to more Keeping illustrations.

  10. Rain is a wonderful thing, but wish it could have held off long enough to let you finish your garden work. It hit 107 degrees here today, better than the forecast of 113 – 114.

    I enjoy Charles Keeping’s illustrations. That horse is quite well done, too.

  11. And Today we might say say ‘Bless you’ when we actually mean thank you for saying something so nice!
    Your supper reminded me of my Chinese crispy beef on Saturday night, though mine didn’t come with the delicious veg!

  12. Sitting and re-reading David Copperfield sounds like a good way to spend a day. We’re also having hot, humid weather. It was good of Jackie to see to reprise your repast.

  13. Oh great! Two favorite things – gardening and dashing in real quick to escape a downpour and then more dickens and CK!
    The eye that has no depth seems to fit Mr M
    And so
    Glad you are reading this classic Derrick

          1. Yes – and I will keep looking at the ones you share and can’t wait to hear more of your take on his work

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