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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and the BBC

BBC David Copperfield
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BBC David Copperfield
Source: Amazon

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, yet 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?

  • Mr Micawber
  • David
  • Aunt Betsy Trotwood
  • Uriah Heep
  • Dora
  • Peggotty
  • Other - leave name in the comment box below
See results without voting

Get a copy of the book

David Copperfiield
David Copperfiield
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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
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Charles Dickens

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.

 Last updated on September 14, 2014

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Comments 20 comments

Merrci profile image

Merrci 6 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 8 Commenter

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


sybil watson profile image

sybil watson 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 6 months ago from Arkansas USA Level 7 Commenter

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


Charito1962 profile image

Charito1962 6 months ago from Manila, Philippines Level 6 Commenter

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

@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.


georgepmoola2 profile image

georgepmoola2 6 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Good review of a great production of a classic tale.


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


tonyleather 6 months ago

This was a really great interpretation of a wonderful tale!


WhiteIsland profile image

WhiteIsland 6 months ago Level 1 Commenter

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.


trevorjb1406 profile image

trevorjb1406 6 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Well done nice lens thanks for the info!


TerriCarr profile image

TerriCarr 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

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!


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

@tonyleather: You're absolutely right - it's a fabulous production.


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

@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.


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 6 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

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


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Hub Author

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

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