Study Guide

David Copperfield Chapter 59

By Charles Dickens

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Chapter 59


  • David arrives in London in winter.
  • He's been away for three years, so he expects to find everything changed,
  • Indeed, Miss Betsey has returned to Dover and Traddles is doing well as a lawyer.
  • David surprises Traddles with his return.
  • He's a little disappointed because no one in Traddles's neighborhood seems aware of who he is.
  • David is sure that Traddles has not found much of a reputation as a lawyer.
  • He knocks on the door of Traddles's office.
  • Traddles welcomes David with open arms and exclaims that he is glad to see David.
  • He's sorry that David came so close to the blessed day but still missed the ceremony.
  • David has no idea what he's talking about – he didn't receive Traddles's last letter.
  • Traddles has finally married Sophy!
  • Sophy emerges into the next room, taking David by surprise.
  • She laughs and blushes.
  • Several of Sophy's sisters have live with Traddles as well.
  • Traddles enjoys their company: it's so charming and lively to have them about.
  • The Beauty and Sarah are both there, along with the two youngest Crewlers and Louisa.
  • Traddles explains to David that he put the whole matter once more to Reverend Horace Crewler, who finally agreed to let Traddles marry Sophy (even though it was such a loss to their family to have Sophy leave home).
  • To make money to improve their living situation, Traddles is working his tail off. Still, though, he's the happiest man in the world.
  • The five Crewler sisters all troop in. They are all fresh and pretty, and while Sophy is not the prettiest, she is cheerful and bright.
  • Sophy tells David that she has seen Agnes.
  • David, meanwhile, observes how proud Sophy and Traddles are of Sophy's sisters, and how much care they take of them.
  • Sophy is an incredible caretaker, and David predicts that she will be a perfect mother.
  • David starts to think he can face the future even though he will have no home of the kind Traddles has found.
  • It's is his own fault that Agnes will someday marry someone else, David thinks.
  • He happens to see Mr. Chillip reading a newspaper at a coffee house.
  • He is absolutely surprised, even though he knows that Mr. Chillip had left Blunderstone some years before.
  • David greets Mr. Chillip, who absolutely does not recognize him.
  • He tells Mr. Chillip his name, and finally Mr. Chillip comments on David's resemblance to his father.
  • Mr. Chillip sympathizes with David: he thinks that being a writer must be terribly hard on the old brain.
  • News of Dora's death has reached Mr. Chillip through Miss Murdstone.
  • Apparently, Mr. Murdstone now lives very near Mr. Chillip's new home.
  • Mr. Murdstone has married another very young woman.
  • Mr. Chillip confides in David that Mr. Murdstone's new wife has been bullied into a broken spirit.
  • Mr. and Miss Murdstone have reduced the new Mrs. Murdstone to a complete child, Mr. Chillip tells David. They guide her about town as though they were her keepers instead of her family.
  • (Throughout this whole conversation, by the way, Mr. Chillip assigns all of these observations to his wife, Mrs. Chillip.)
  • Mr. Murdstone still pretends that he is doing all of this bullying out of some kind of religious feeling – really, he's just a bad-tempered old cuss.
  • Mr. Chillip is glad to be able to tell David all of this because he needs to vent: Mr. Murdstone has been getting worse and worse lately.
  • Apparently, the Murdstones are not popular in the neighborhood.
  • David spends some time telling Mr. Chillip about his own fortunes and his aunt – whom Mr. Chillip still remembers from the night David was born.
  • David travels on to Dover, where he is welcomed by Mr. Dick, Peggotty, and Miss Betsey.

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