This map plots the settings and references in David Copperfield

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London

It is in London that David Copperfield experiences life as a child labourer.

Between 1831 and 1925, London grew into a heavily populated city, and the overcrowded conditions, coupled with the pollution of the River Thames, led to many health problems, such as cholera epidemics.

Raw sewage was still being dumped into the River Thames creating a noticeable stench, and industrial smoke mingled with fog to create smog. In some instances the smog was so thick one could hardly see to walk through the streets.

It was during the 1800s that much of London, as we know it now, was built. It was in 1830, for example, that land was cleared for Trafalgar Square. Following a fire in 1834, the Houses of Parliament were rebuilt according to the designs of Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin, and the clock, affectionately known as Big Ben, first appeared in 1859. See a map of Dickens' London here.

It was during the 1800s that many familiar aspects of modern life made their first appearance, including the introduction of the metropolitan police force in 1829 and the foundation of the National Gallery in 1824. Railway stations proliferated as the century progressed. Read more about Dickens' London here.