Page 688. " I seemed to stand in a picture by Ostade. "

Adrian van Ostrade (1610-1685) was a Dutch painter known for his scenes of taverns and rustic life.

Page 692. " seeking I know not what, and trying to leave I know not what behind. "
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumSwitzerland - Credit: M.L. Costa

Like Copperfield, Dickens lived abroad in Italy and Switzerland between 1844 and 1846. Dickens began to write Dombey and Son,  the novel preceding David Copperfield, whilst living in Switzerland.

Page 693. " All at once, in this serenity, great Nature spoke to me; and soothed me to lay down my weary head upon the grass "

The idea of nature serving to heal those weary of the world seems connected to some of the ideas put forward by the Romantic Movement. This quotation is particularly reminiscent of phrases from the first book of The Prelude by William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Page 694. " tidings of my growing reputation began to reach me from travellers whom I encountered by chance. "

Charles Dickens, like David Copperfield, became an internationally noted author from relatively early on in the course of his writing career. In 1842, only six years after the initial serialization of Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers (1836-1837), he travelled to the United States and Canada, where he was very warmly received. He was to return there later in his career when he took a reading and lecture tour to the United States in 1867-1868.

Page 697. " He had chambers in Gray's Inn "
Gray's Inn
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGray's Inn - Credit: Christine Matthews

Dickens had worked as a clerk in the law offices of Ellis and Blackmore at the same location.