Page 29. " If it had been Aladdin’s palace, roc’s egg and all, I suppose I could not have been more charmed "

Aladdin’s last wish was for a roc’s egg.

A roc is a mythical bird of huge size and strength.

Page 35. " 'You would like to be a lady?' "

The term ‘lady’ carried particular social connotations in the nineteenth century. It was not only an aristocratic title, but could indicate more generally a woman of good breeding – a gentlewoman. 

The definition of a gentlewoman was fluid, but might include a lady of high birth, a woman who attended a great lady, or simply a woman with genteel manners and a high standard of behaviour. It seems the aspiring middle classes were more concerned with such titular details than were their aristocratic peers.

Page 36. " I am sure I loved that baby quite as truly, quite as tenderly, with greater purity and more disinterestedness, than can enter into the best love of a later time of life, high and ennobling as it is. "

little Em'ly
Public Domainlittle Em'ly
The eighteenth-century Romantic Movement asserted the notion that children were born innocent and that wordly influences erode this innocence as they grew older.

Jean-Jaques Rousseau is generally credited with forming this modern notion of childhood.

Page 46. " it was another name for tyranny "

In David Copperfield, firmness becomes synonymous with tyranny, a theme that recurs throughout Dickens' work. Other characters who wield cruel power include Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist (1837-1839), Wackford Squeers and his wife in Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), and Daniel Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841).