London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
DICKENS, Charles. Autograph quotation signed ('Charles Dickens') from David Copperfield, Tavistock House, 24 January 1859, written in blue ink, one page, 8vo, integral blank.
The famous lines concluding the first chapter, entitled I am Born, of Dickens's most autobiographical work: 'No. I lay in my basket, and my mother lay in her bed; but Betsey Trotwood Copperfield was for ever in the land of dreams and shadows, the tremendous region whence I had so lately travelled; and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been'.
David Copperfield was published in 20 weekly instalments between May and November 1849. The first issue containing chapters I - III sold over 59,000 copies, and sales increased as the story progressed. Dickens regarded it as his finest, describing it in the preface to a later edition as 'a favourite child'.
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