a result David is obliged to resign his articles. He promptly finds work, however, as secretary to Dr. Strong. Micawber also finds work, as clerk to the firm of Wickfield and Heep, the latter having slithered into partnership. Heep reveals designs on Agnes that enrage David.

Spenlow dies suddenly and David becomes engaged to Dora after a comic courtship largely negotiated by her excitable friend Julia Mills. After initial bliss their marriage begins to founder, as David increasingly observes signs of petulance and immaturity in his young bride. Meanwhile, with the assistance of the prostitute Martha Endell, Daniel and David locate Little Em’ly in London. She has found her way back to England from the continent where Steerforth, who has unsuccessfully tried to palm her off onto his sinister, inscrutable manservant Littimer, had abandoned her. Daniel decides to emigrate to Australia with her, and start a new life.

In Canterbury Heep is exposed as a fraud by Micawber with the help of Traddles, who supplies the requisite legal acumen. Micawber finally orders his affairs and Betsey Trotwood (discovering that she has not been ruined after all) pays for his family’s passage to Australia. Following these dramas Dora dies in childbirth and Ham loses his life in a terrible storm at Yarmouth whilst attempting unsuccessfully to save a stricken sailor, who turns out to be Steerforth. These tragedies prompt David to travel for three years, at the end of which he is able finally to confront a deep truth: he has always loved Agnes. Heep and Littimer become model prisoners in an institution presided over by Creakle. Rosa (who has revealed her own affair with Steerforth) ekes out life in mourning with the unendingly bitter Mrs. Steerforth. Agnes and David marry and live idyllically with Betsy, Peggotty and Mr. Dick. Years later they are visited by Daniel, who provides encouraging news of all the emigrants.

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