Deborah Friedell writes:
Too late, David Copperfield realises that he has married an imbecile: Dora is good-looking and affectionate, but she’s useless with a cookery book and incapable of managing servants. She calls her husband ‘Doady’ and begs him to accept that she can never be more to him than a ‘child-wife’. Worst of all, she will never be able to appreciate his genius. David prepares himself for a life of grief: ‘There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.’ He doesn’t suffer long. Dora develops a never specified illness, which allows her to die without any mess or fuss, and from her deathbed summons the girl David really loves and gives her blessing to the succession.