Some time in 1860, Dickens had started a piece that he found funny and truthful and thought it might do better as a novel: "...it so opens out before me that I can see the whole of a serial revolving on it, in a most singular and comic manner," he wrote. Dickens had told friends that he had gone back and read David Copperfield and was quite struck by the story now that he looked back upon it. Copperfield was a happy novel, the story of a young man who came into his fortune though hard work and luck. Its influences and similarities are seen in Great Expectations. There are, however, some major thematic differences.