Study Guide

David Copperfield Chapter 43

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 43

Another Retrospect

  • David takes a moment to stand back and observe his past life.
  • He has turned 21, and he has started making a living as a journalist reporting on debates in Parliament.
  • Traddles has also tried to work as a journalist, but he's not great at it. Instead, he's managed to get a job as a lawyer.
  • David starts writing fiction pieces for magazines.
  • He has moved out of Mrs. Crupp's boarding house to a cottage in Highgate.
  • Miss Betsey has sold her cottage in Dover and plans to move to another little cottage nearby.
  • She's moving out of David's house because he is getting married.
  • Yet, at last, Miss Lavinia and Miss Clarissa have given permission for Dora to get married.
  • Peggotty comes for the wedding, and helps Miss Lavinia, Miss Clarissa, and Miss Betsey set up the house for the newlyweds.
  • David also sometimes sees the shadow of Mr. Peggotty in London, but he never stops Mr. Peggotty to speak to him: he knows what Mr. Peggotty is looking for, and it's not David.
  • Traddles comes by one afternoon with David's marriage license.
  • David is proud and pleased.
  • He tells Traddles that the next time Traddles comes to the Archbishop of Canterbury to get a marriage blessed (as is required in the Anglican church), it should be his own.
  • Traddles tells David that he's almost as excited by David's wedding as he would be by his own.
  • In fact, Sophy (Traddles's fiancée) is one of Dora's bridesmaids, along with Agnes.
  • So, David gets to meet Sophy at his wedding. David finds her friendly and delightful.
  • Agnes really enjoys Traddles, and they all get along beautifully.
  • David can't believe his good luck, and when they all go to visit his new house the next day, he still thinks that it must belong to someone else.
  • Someone taps on the window: it is Dora, accompanied by her two aunts and Jip.
  • Dora asks if David thinks the house is pretty – and if he is sure that he likes her.
  • David confirms that he does, and is so, so happy.
  • The next day is the day of the wedding.
  • Miss Betsey looks amazing all dressed up, and Mr. Dick has had his hair curled.
  • David's aunt gives him her blessing: David reminds Miss Betsey so much of his mother.
  • Miss Betsey shakes Traddles's hand, who shakes Mr. Dick's hand, who shakes David's hand, who shakes Mr. Traddles's hand.
  • The rest of the day seems like a dream, with Dora looking lovely and clutching Agnes's hand and trembling and weeping for her father.
  • David and Dora sign the register, the marriage is witnessed by Peggotty, and they walk down the aisle together as man and wife.
  • As Dora and David walk arm-in-arm to their carriage (with Jip in Dora's hand), Dora looks back and tells them, "If I have ever been cross or ungrateful to anybody, don't remember it!" (43.53).
  • Dora looks back once more and says farewell to everyone, and especially Agnes.
  • As they drive away, David begins to believe this is all real.
  • Dora turns to David and asks if he is happy.
  • And with that, David resumes his story.

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