David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published as a book in 1850. Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of his novels. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, "like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield." The story traces the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity.