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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and the BBC

Updated on December 19, 2015
BBC David Copperfield
BBC David Copperfield | Source

Last night we watched this luscious BBC TV adaptation of David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens and we all enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to write a Hub!

The BBC has made another program that is faithful to the original masterpiece with all the wonderful and much loved characters that Dickens masterfully created.

If you love the BBC's period dramas then this will delight you.

A Wonderful Cast

The BBC assembled a wonderful cast, and so the acting is superb from start to end.

Maggie Smith as Aunt Betsy Trotwood is wonderful and totally convincing. Her charm, quirkiness, and utter Britishness shine through as she struggles to work out what she'll do with this 'boy!'

The late Bob Hoskins plays Wilkins Micawber and is equally outstanding, and Ian McKellen as Mr. Creakle is positively vicious and loathsome. Perfect!

It is also the first screen appearance of the very young Daniel Radcliffe, (in the role of David Copperfield), who later became famous for playing the lead in Harry Potter films.

Who is your favorite character in David Copperfield?

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Amazing Sets


The BBC takes some beating when it comes to sets and locations, and this production is no exception. I particularly loved Aunt Betsy’s country house, with its beautiful conservatory, sporting a wallpaper design of little garden birds, setting off the perfect Gothic windows beautifully. Oh how I wish it were mine! The garden was absolutely lovely too, where absolutely no donkeys were allowed to tread!

The seaside, countryside, and London scenes were very well researched. The seaside scenes were filmed on location in Yarmouth in Norfolk. That's where Peggotty's family lived in a boathouse on the beach.

The London scenes were shot in Victorian areas such as Highgate, and one London scene was shot outside my sister’s house, a building which was built over 170 years ago. There are so many wonderful places still standing in London that are of the real Dickensian period. It's wonderful to see them in action as they would have been way back then.

We All Thoroughly Enjoyed It

We decided to watch this together as a family, which comprises of my husband and our 14 year old son.

The BBC made this in two parts, but we found part one so enjoyable, that we sat and watched the second part too!

We sat engrossed for three hours and it held our attention all the while. Our son was totally captivated mainly because the story is a window into the life of a boy in Victorian England, and it shows an exisitance which was often hard and cruel.

I think he enjoyed it all the more because we have recently introduced him to Dickens. We had read ‘The Christmas Carol’ during the week up to Christmas, and he really enjoyed grappling with the wonderful language! He was already familiar with the story of 'Oliver Twist', and we had also recently watched David Lean’s black and white film of ‘Great Expectations’, which I also highly recommend, and I have included a link to the full version below.

He thoroughly enjoyed the film last night and he is becoming quite a Dickens’ fan!

This production of David Copperfield was full of joyful humor juxtaposed with heart wrenching sadness.

It is a brilliant story, brilliantly told. This novel is particularly poignant because many of the events follow elements of Dicken's real life. For example, just like David in the story, as a young boy Dickens was forced to leave school to work (ten hour days!) in a factory because his father was in debtor's prison. And as was the custom in those days, his wife and younger children were in prison with him.

In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, "like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield."

I highly recommend it as an excellent piece of work that I cannot fault. I also highly recommend the book of course!

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens | Source

Have you watched this wonderful production of David Copperfield? Or are you planning to? If so please do leave a comment. Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

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    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 24 months ago from London UK

      Hope you do get to watch it.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      A wonderful review. I have not seen it, but have read the book all of them by Dickens. Thanks Stella

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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @esmonaco: Thank you for your visit and great feedback!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      A wonderful review of a great classic!! Thanks:)

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @TerriCarr: You should treat yourself and watch this production then because it will all come flooding back to you. Thanks for your visit and for leaving a comment.

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @trevorjb1406: You're very welcome. Thank you for your visit.

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @WhiteIsland: Thanks very much for your visit and for leaving a comment. I hope I have inspired you to watch this production too.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      A am a little astonished to be able to say...I actually read the book....about 30 years ago. I don't remember much except that I loved it!

    • trevorjb1406 profile image

      trevorjb1406 3 years ago

      Well done nice lens thanks for the info!

    • WhiteIsland profile image

      WhiteIsland 3 years ago

      I love these BBC productions. I haven't seen this one, but my sisters and I love most of the Austen stories, especially the most recent (I know the BBC has done a few of the stories more than once). One of the things I love about them is (as you mentioned) they seem so much more accurate and true to the books than some other versions I've seen.

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      tonyleather 3 years ago

      This was a really great interpretation of a wonderful tale!

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @georgepmoola2: Thanks very much for your visit and comment.

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Good review of a great production of a classic tale.

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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @Charito1962: There is a lot in it that was autobiographical. Eg Charles's own father was in a debtor's prison, and Charles was sent to work in a factory at a young age, just like David, and also Charles gradually became a writer to earn his living, as did David. It's very interesting that Charles had experienced social injustices and drew on them when he wrote. Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @SusanDeppner: It's a very special production in my opinion. Thanks for your visit.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I loved this classic. I know that it's Dickens' autobiography.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I haven't watched it, but what a great review. Thanks for sharing!

    • Adventuretravels profile image
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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @sybil watson: I agree with you they absolutely get it don't they! Thanks for your visit and comment.

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      sybil watson 3 years ago

      This is my absolute favorite movie version of this novel - I loved little Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith.

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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      @Merrci: You won't be disappointed. Thanks for your visit Merrci.

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      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I haven't seen it, but now I want to! Great review.