"He was high-shouldered and bony; dressed in decent black, with a white wisp of a neckcloth; buttoned up to the throat; and had a long, lank, skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention"

Some speculate that the mannerisms and physical appearance of Uriah Heep were based in part on those of Hans Christian Andersen, who visited England shortly before Dickens began writing David Copperfield.

Uriah's deceptive and scheming nature is thought to have been inspired by Thomas Powell, who ingratiated himself into Dickens' social set and was subsequently discovered to be a fraud and a thief.