AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO THE
HON. Mr. AND Mrs. RICHARD WATSON,
OF ROCKINGHAM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.
PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION
I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having
finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest
in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret - pleasure in the
achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I am in danger of
wearying the reader whom I love, with personal confidences, and private emotions.
Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavoured to say in it.
It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know, how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the
close of a two-years' imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of
himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever.
Yet, I have nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still) that
no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I have believed it in the writing.
Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to
myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green leaves once
a month, and with a faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of
David Copperfield, and made me happy.
THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION
I REMARKED in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it easy to get sufficiently far
away from it, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal
heading would seem to require. My interest in it was so recent and strong, and my mind was so divided