Monday, 7 January 2019

David Copperfield's Women

Can there be another book so highly populated with female characters?  It is a book, featuring Mr Micawber and Uriah Heep, no less, dominated by women.  I had never really noticed this before.  I read it first when i was 16, when I suppose I must have identified strongly with DC.  A second reading, I think in my thirties or forties, I simply luxuriated in.  Now these women strike me powerfully, as though Dickens is giving something away about himself.  And just as women are - despite all those godawful homogenising identity politics fascists we're hectored at by - just as people are - they are all quite tremendously different and themselves.

Clara Copperfield
Miss Murdstone
Betsey Trotwood
Mrs Gummidge
Little Em'ly
Mrs Gummidge
Miss Mowcher
Mrs Steerforth
Rosa Dartle
Mrs Crupp
Mrs Micawber
and more, I'm sure, whose names for the moment escape me. 

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