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 between
pleasure and regret - pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many
companions - that I was in danger of wearying the reader with personal confidences and private emotions.
Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I had 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 had 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 believed it in the writing.
So true are these avowals at the present day, that I can now only take the reader into one confidence more.
Of all my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my
fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have
in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD. 1869
READ STUDY GUIDE: PREFACE–CHAPTER III
I AM BORN
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody
else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I
have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock
began to strike, and I began...