'I really think I have done it ingeniously and with a very complicated interweaving of truth and fiction.' So wrote Dickens of David Copperfield (1850), the novel he called his 'favourite child'. Intimately rooted in the author's own biography and written as a first-person narrative, this work charts a young man's progress through a difficult childhood in Victorian England to ultimate success as a novelist, finding true love along the way. Through his hero Dickens draws openly on his own life, as David Copperfield recalls his experiences from childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Rosa Dartle, Dora, Steerforth and Uriah Heep are among the characters who focus the hero's sexual and emotional drives, and Mr Micawber, a portrait of Dickens's own father, evokes the mixture of love, nostalgia and guilt that, put together, make this Dickens's most quoted and best-loved novel.