Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers
The story is that of an orphaned[?] boy, David Copperfield, who is ill-treated by his cruel stepfather, Mr. Murdstone. His stepfather ultimately sets him to work in the factory which he owns, the grim reality of which echoes Dickens's travails in a blacking factory[?]. He escapes by walking all the way from London to Canterbury, to find his only known relative - his eccentric Aunt Betsy Trotwood - who agrees, out of sheer perversity, to bring him up.
The story follows David as he grows to adulthood, and many well-known characters enter and leave his acquaintance. These include his nurse, Peggotty, and her family; his schoolfriend, Steerforth; and his childhood sweetheart, Agnes Wickfield. The two most famous characters are David's mentor, the heavily indebted Mr. Wilkins Micawber, and his enemy, the devious and fraudulent clerk, Uriah Heep, whose misdeeds are eventually discovered with Micawber's assistance. Micawber is sympathetically painted, and, like Dickens's own father, was imprisoned for indebtedness. Having married the beautiful but empty-headed Dora Spenlow, David is eventually left a widower, and finds true happiness with Agnes, who has never ceased to love him.
David Copperfield has been filmed on several occasions:
Numerous television adaptations of the work have also been created.