The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick ClubHave you read The Pickwick Papers? It does seem to be the one work by Charles Dickens which is sadly neglected by many readers.

"The Pickwick Papers" was originally published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837, this last being a double issue. They were then reissued in a volume as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1839 when Dickens was still only 25. They comprise humorous sketches, themselves interspersed with incidental tales, such as "The Goblins who stole a Sexton" told by minor characters.

This is where the young Charles Dickens began to cut his teeth as a writer. Dickens at the time was relatively unknown and quite poor. He was 23, and had just written various sketches about London life for magazines. The publishers Chapman and Hall asked him to write pieces in a similar vein to accompany some plates by Robert Seymour, an established illustrator. These plates were of bumbling members of a sporting club getting themselves into various predicaments. Dickens's brief was to connect them by providing a comic story, and the two parts would then form a "picture novel"a popular entertainment of the time.

Dickens was quite excited by the idea, but straightaway started to alter the plan. In his own words, he

"objected... that it would be infinitely better for the plates to arise naturally out of the text; and that I would like to take my own way, with a freer range of English scenes and people, and was afraid I should ultimately do so in any case, whatever course I might prescribe to myself at starting."

One can only imagine how presumptuous this must have sounded! Seymour was 38 years old and had already illustrated the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Cervantes and Wordsworth. He was a talented artist who had been exhibited at the Royal Academy over a decade earlier when he was just 24. He was on his way to becoming the President of the Royal Academy, and thought to be one of the greatest artists since Hogarth. Despite all this, Dickens got his way, and led the episodes by the story. He evidently must have a been a charismatic and forceful character even at this young age!

Now of course we know the true extent of the brilliance of the man. Ironically and tragically Seymour committed suicide before the second issue of "The Pickwick Papers" was published. He had a few drinks with Dickens, delivered his latest sketch of "The Dying Clown" to the publishers, then went home and shot himself. There is a fascinating backstory attached to this… but this is not the place to tell it.

Robert Buss was then commissioned to illustrate the third instalment, but his work was not liked by Dickens and the remaining instalments were illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne who took the name "Phiz". This was to accompany the penname Dickens had already made his own, "Boz". Hablot Knight Browne went on to illustrate most of Dickens' novels.

The main characters in "Pickwick" are Mr. Samuel Pickwick himself, "a gentleman of independent means; a retired man of business." He is accompanied by the "too susceptible" Mr. Tracy Tupman, also mature in years, but inclined to fall in love at the drop of a hat. The other two members of the travelling party are younger; "the sporting" Mr. Nathaniel Winkle and "the poetic" Mr. Augustus Snodgrass. Their aim is to travel throughout the English countryside researching "the quaint and curious phenomena of life". They are to report back at intervals on "authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations; of their observations of character and manners; and of the whole of their adventures", to the club's headquarters in London. They stay at coaching inns, and their adventures as they travel by coach through London, Rochester, Ipswich, Bath, Bristol and Birmingham form the basis of this rollicking ride.

Satire and farce continue to underpin the whole of the narrative, as the bumbling quartet become embroiled in ever more ludicrous situations. The confidence trickster Alfred Jingle appeared in the very first issue. He repeatedly landed the Pickwickians in trouble with his devious tricks, and whenever he pops up in the narrative the reader knows they are in for a particularly droll episode. In the fourth issue, (or chapter 10) the astute and wily cockney Sam Weller is introduced, to be taken on as Pickwick's servant. He provides a delightful counterpart to Pickwick's idealistic naivety.

There about a dozen other important minor characters, and literally hundreds more comic cameos scattered throughout the book. This is no exaggeration, incidentally. The book has 57 chapters, and there are maybe 510 of these cameos in each; delightful thumbnail sketches of characters with exaggerated personality traits. It would indeed be a lengthy exercise to detail all these numerous comic characters and situations! The Pickwick Papers is by definition episodic; a linked sequence of events. If anything it is characterheavy and in danger of sinking under their weight. And given such a dodgy start to the enterprise, it is surprising that the whole can still be read and enjoyed by the modern reader.

Each of the 19 issues contains either 2 or 3 chapters, and it must have been incredibly frustrating for Dickens, that he could neither rewrite nor withdraw any part of them. This was however the regime and pressure that he had to work under for most of his life. Each chapter is headed by a description of the following events. Typically though, in what was to become a favourite style of Dickens, this is written so obliquely that the reader is not entirely sure what is actually going to happen even then.

In addition to this workload, from February 1837 onwards, Dickens was also producing monthly episodes of "Oliver Twist" at the same time! Whenever the reader feels that the action is sagging a little, or that Dickens's writing is becoming a little overblown, it is as well to remember the constraints of producing work at such breakneck speed, without any possibility of editing. It would be most unfair to judge it by comparison with other novels of the timeor even Dickens's own future novelsas this is not how it was conceived.

Chapman and Hall printed only 1000 copies of the first monthly instalment, but by the end of the serial 40,000 copies were being printed. As soon as the character of Sam Weller was introduced, sales began to pick up, and he became enormously popular with the reading public. So much so, that his image was popular outside the stories themselves, much as Pickwick himself is for present day readers. For which of us now is not familiar with an image of Pickwick, on everything from Christmas cards to tins of biscuits?

Dickens is often criticised for his "inaccurate" rendering of the cockney accent, and Sam Weller's verancular and that of his father is probably the first time we see this. But read this exchange during a trial,

"Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W'?" enquired the Judge. "That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller my lord," replied Sam. "I never had occasion to spell it more than once or twice in my life, but I spells it with a 'V'."

Or later, when Mr Weller senior is sorting out probate and dealing with the bank after a will. He is instructed to wait at "a part of the counter above which was a round black board with a large 'W' on it"the initial letter of the deceased. He says, "There's somethin' wrong here. We's our letterthis won't do."

On both these occasions the confusions between the two letters is used to increase the comic effect. I personally think Dickens knew exactly what he was doing. He was well enough acquainted with all walks of life in London not make a "mistake"!

The Pickwick Papers in serial form were published at a very eventful period of Dickens' life. During the month issue 2 was published, not only did the illustrator Seymour commit suicide, as mentioned, but Dickens himself married Catherine Hogarth. For issue 11, his first son Charley was born, issue 12 came at the same time as the first instalment of "Oliver Twist" (again in serial form). For issue 13 the couple moved house to Doughty Street, and during April when issue 14 was out, Catherine's sister (with whom it is fairly sure Dickens was in love) died. With this whirlwind of a year Dickens had set a precedent for the way he would live his life. He was a writing phenomenon; a true workaholic. Between his writing and his performances on stage, he eventually worked himself to death.

What's more, the basis for his work is all here in "The Pickwick Papers". The love of caricature and the grotesque, the drama and the humour, the sentimentality and the pathos. There is also the social conscience, the indignant portrayal of the absurdity and corruption not only of individuals, but of the machinery held in such esteem by civilised democratic societies. Dickens is never afraid to poke fun at anything, however august and "honourable" the person or the institution.

Lawyers, politicians and even some churchmen are portrayed either as pompous figures of ridicule or unscrupulous charlatans. Medical men are "sawbones" who use "secondhand leeches", new "men of science" are gullible fools. The debtors' prison is jampacked with people who have ended up there through no fault of their own, and have no prospect of ever getting out. The beloved "Artful Dodger" of "Oliver Twist" is here in embryonic form, as Sam Weller. Dickens's passion for justice, for seeing everything in its true colours and laughing at it, is here already, and I love him for it. His talent is ripe and just waiting to be developed into some of the greatest novels in the English Language. All this, from an author in his early twenties.

For those who think my star rating is generous, that this is one of his weaker "novels", I would say just look at some extracts. Read the episode about the "refractory mare." Or Pickwick's trial. Or the incident with the "lady in yellow curl papers." Or account of the Pickwickians slithering about on the ice. His style for writing farce is already perfect; it could not be improved. Yes, the structure is loose and "The Pickwick Papers" is overlong. The first part of this review explains why.

But reading through "The Pickwick Papers" in its entirety provides us with a unique opportunity to follow a piece of history. It started as a minor piece by a relatively unknown young writer, yet in some ways it can be seen as the chronicle of his journey. By the end "The Pickwick Papers" was a huge success, both the work and its author taking Britain by storm. Dickens's life would never be the same again; he achieved celebrity status with this work. Agreed, it is a lesser work compared with the whole canon. But if you have already enjoyed reading any Dickens, then please do not miss out on the true gems in this remarkable collection. I read the Oxford Illustrated Classics edition of Pickwick and these books are delightful for their reproduction of original illustrations.
Pickwick, in many aspects, is a young writer's book full of optimism and not as deeply serious about society's problems as Charles Dickens's works became. Samuel Pickwick does not ignore the troubles of his day, but takes them in a more philosophical and lighthearted way than later characters of Dickens.
There are hints of what is to come in Pickwick. There are hints of A Christmas Carol and a chapter about the Marshalsea Debtors Prison which figures in many works including Little Dorrit.
There is a riotous election, a duel of sorts, a breach of promise suit and a look inside Fleet Prison. This is the darkest part of the book as Samuel Pickwick is greatly affected by the sight of a poor mother and child.
There are delightful characters in the faithful servant Sam Weller and his father. Dickens was very particular about the names he gave his characters so Gabriel Grub is an apt name for his gravedigger.
Today's reader of Pickwick may also be surprised by some very "modern" expressions. A person is "floored," and someone "had a screw loose."
The delight in the works of Dickens has continued since the writer's time. Testimony to that is that his works, starting production in the 1830s, have never gone out of print.
I always read Dickens in December and, with this book, am starting over with his classics. No idea how many times they have been read.

Love this book! Been reading over a long time period, but it is written in such a way that you can just pick up and read another installment. Classic Dickens fantastic colorful characters who get in interesting situations. I've laughed out loud many times in this book.
Unfortunately, I picked up something else, and set this aside. Now I've decided to try again later as I've forgotten too much. This is just the first half. So far, so good. Working on the 2nd half now. The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick ClubNotRetrouvez The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club AnnotatedThe Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Annotated Illustrated , Charles Dickens, Auto Dition Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec Les Papiers Posthumes Du Pickwick Club WikipdiaThe Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens Info The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club The Pickwick Papers, Also Known As The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club, Was The First Novel By Charles Dickens The Novel Was Published By Chapman Hall In Monthly Installments From March Ofuntil NovemberThe Pickwick Papers Dickens S Life At The Time The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick ClublignesThe Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Also Known As The Pickwick The Pickwick Papers Wikipedia Funny to this day, this brilliant first novel by the unknown Charles Dickens broke the mold when it was published. Amusing and lighthearted. Not reading vol.2. It wasn't bad, but the characters are too irritating, book too long and satisfaction not rewarding enough "Reading" via free audiobook Absolutely amazing book!

George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.

On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home after a full day's work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day he died at Gad's Hill Place. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral "in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner," he was laid to rest in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads: "To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England's most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years. He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world." His last words were: "On the ground", in response to his sister-in-law Georgina's request that he lie down.

(from Wikipedia)

✻ [BOOKS] ✯ The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club By Charles Dickens ❅ – Online-strattera-atomoxetine.info

    This is where the young Charles Dickens began to cut his teeth as a writer. Dickens at the time was relatively unknown and quite poor. He was 23, and had just written various sketches about London life for magazines. The publishers Chapman and Hall asked him to write pieces in a similar vein to accompany some plates by Robert Seymour, an established illustrator. These plates were of bumbling members of a sporting club getting themselves into various predicaments. Dickens's brief was to connect them by providing a comic story, and the two parts would then form a "picture novel"a popular entertainment of the time.

    Dickens was quite excited by the idea, but straightaway started to alter the plan. In his own words, he

    "objected... that it would be infinitely better for the plates to arise naturally out of the text; and that I would like to take my own way, with a freer range of English scenes and people, and was afraid I should ultimately do so in any case, whatever course I might prescribe to myself at starting."

    One can only imagine how presumptuous this must have sounded! Seymour was 38 years old and had already illustrated the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Cervantes and Wordsworth. He was a talented artist who had been exhibited at the Royal Academy over a decade earlier when he was just 24. He was on his way to becoming the President of the Royal Academy, and thought to be one of the greatest artists since Hogarth. Despite all this, Dickens got his way, and led the episodes by the story. He evidently must have a been a charismatic and forceful character even at this young age!

    Now of course we know the true extent of the brilliance of the man. Ironically and tragically Seymour committed suicide before the second issue of "The Pickwick Papers" was published. He had a few drinks with Dickens, delivered his latest sketch of "The Dying Clown" to the publishers, then went home and shot himself. There is a fascinating backstory attached to this… but this is not the place to tell it.

    Robert Buss was then commissioned to illustrate the third instalment, but his work was not liked by Dickens and the remaining instalments were illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne who took the name "Phiz". This was to accompany the penname Dickens had already made his own, "Boz". Hablot Knight Browne went on to illustrate most of Dickens' novels.

    The main characters in "Pickwick" are Mr. Samuel Pickwick himself, "a gentleman of independent means; a retired man of business." He is accompanied by the "too susceptible" Mr. Tracy Tupman, also mature in years, but inclined to fall in love at the drop of a hat. The other two members of the travelling party are younger; "the sporting" Mr. Nathaniel Winkle and "the poetic" Mr. Augustus Snodgrass. Their aim is to travel throughout the English countryside researching "the quaint and curious phenomena of life". They are to report back at intervals on "authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations; of their observations of character and manners; and of the whole of their adventures", to the club's headquarters in London. They stay at coaching inns, and their adventures as they travel by coach through London, Rochester, Ipswich, Bath, Bristol and Birmingham form the basis of this rollicking ride.

    Satire and farce continue to underpin the whole of the narrative, as the bumbling quartet become embroiled in ever more ludicrous situations. The confidence trickster Alfred Jingle appeared in the very first issue. He repeatedly landed the Pickwickians in trouble with his devious tricks, and whenever he pops up in the narrative the reader knows they are in for a particularly droll episode. In the fourth issue, (or chapter 10) the astute and wily cockney Sam Weller is introduced, to be taken on as Pickwick's servant. He provides a delightful counterpart to Pickwick's idealistic naivety.

    There about a dozen other important minor characters, and literally hundreds more comic cameos scattered throughout the book. This is no exaggeration, incidentally. The book has 57 chapters, and there are maybe 510 of these cameos in each; delightful thumbnail sketches of characters with exaggerated personality traits. It would indeed be a lengthy exercise to detail all these numerous comic characters and situations! The Pickwick Papers is by definition episodic; a linked sequence of events. If anything it is characterheavy and in danger of sinking under their weight. And given such a dodgy start to the enterprise, it is surprising that the whole can still be read and enjoyed by the modern reader.

    Each of the 19 issues contains either 2 or 3 chapters, and it must have been incredibly frustrating for Dickens, that he could neither rewrite nor withdraw any part of them. This was however the regime and pressure that he had to work under for most of his life. Each chapter is headed by a description of the following events. Typically though, in what was to become a favourite style of Dickens, this is written so obliquely that the reader is not entirely sure what is actually going to happen even then.

    In addition to this workload, from February 1837 onwards, Dickens was also producing monthly episodes of "Oliver Twist" at the same time! Whenever the reader feels that the action is sagging a little, or that Dickens's writing is becoming a little overblown, it is as well to remember the constraints of producing work at such breakneck speed, without any possibility of editing. It would be most unfair to judge it by comparison with other novels of the timeor even Dickens's own future novelsas this is not how it was conceived.

    Chapman and Hall printed only 1000 copies of the first monthly instalment, but by the end of the serial 40,000 copies were being printed. As soon as the character of Sam Weller was introduced, sales began to pick up, and he became enormously popular with the reading public. So much so, that his image was popular outside the stories themselves, much as Pickwick himself is for present day readers. For which of us now is not familiar with an image of Pickwick, on everything from Christmas cards to tins of biscuits?

    Dickens is often criticised for his "inaccurate" rendering of the cockney accent, and Sam Weller's verancular and that of his father is probably the first time we see this. But read this exchange during a trial,

    "Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W'?" enquired the Judge. "That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller my lord," replied Sam. "I never had occasion to spell it more than once or twice in my life, but I spells it with a 'V'."

    Or later, when Mr Weller senior is sorting out probate and dealing with the bank after a will. He is instructed to wait at "a part of the counter above which was a round black board with a large 'W' on it"the initial letter of the deceased. He says, "There's somethin' wrong here. We's our letterthis won't do."

    On both these occasions the confusions between the two letters is used to increase the comic effect. I personally think Dickens knew exactly what he was doing. He was well enough acquainted with all walks of life in London not make a "mistake"!

    The Pickwick Papers in serial form were published at a very eventful period of Dickens' life. During the month issue 2 was published, not only did the illustrator Seymour commit suicide, as mentioned, but Dickens himself married Catherine Hogarth. For issue 11, his first son Charley was born, issue 12 came at the same time as the first instalment of "Oliver Twist" (again in serial form). For issue 13 the couple moved house to Doughty Street, and during April when issue 14 was out, Catherine's sister (with whom it is fairly sure Dickens was in love) died. With this whirlwind of a year Dickens had set a precedent for the way he would live his life. He was a writing phenomenon; a true workaholic. Between his writing and his performances on stage, he eventually worked himself to death.

    What's more, the basis for his work is all here in "The Pickwick Papers". The love of caricature and the grotesque, the drama and the humour, the sentimentality and the pathos. There is also the social conscience, the indignant portrayal of the absurdity and corruption not only of individuals, but of the machinery held in such esteem by civilised democratic societies. Dickens is never afraid to poke fun at anything, however august and "honourable" the person or the institution.

    Lawyers, politicians and even some churchmen are portrayed either as pompous figures of ridicule or unscrupulous charlatans. Medical men are "sawbones" who use "secondhand leeches", new "men of science" are gullible fools. The debtors' prison is jampacked with people who have ended up there through no fault of their own, and have no prospect of ever getting out. The beloved "Artful Dodger" of "Oliver Twist" is here in embryonic form, as Sam Weller. Dickens's passion for justice, for seeing everything in its true colours and laughing at it, is here already, and I love him for it. His talent is ripe and just waiting to be developed into some of the greatest novels in the English Language. All this, from an author in his early twenties.

    For those who think my star rating is generous, that this is one of his weaker "novels", I would say just look at some extracts. Read the episode about the "refractory mare." Or Pickwick's trial. Or the incident with the "lady in yellow curl papers." Or account of the Pickwickians slithering about on the ice. His style for writing farce is already perfect; it could not be improved. Yes, the structure is loose and "The Pickwick Papers" is overlong. The first part of this review explains why.

    But reading through "The Pickwick Papers" in its entirety provides us with a unique opportunity to follow a piece of history. It started as a minor piece by a relatively unknown young writer, yet in some ways it can be seen as the chronicle of his journey. By the end "The Pickwick Papers" was a huge success, both the work and its author taking Britain by storm. Dickens's life would never be the same again; he achieved celebrity status with this work. Agreed, it is a lesser work compared with the whole canon. But if you have already enjoyed reading any Dickens, then please do not miss out on the true gems in this remarkable collection. I read the Oxford Illustrated Classics edition of Pickwick and these books are delightful for their reproduction of original illustrations.
    Pickwick, in many aspects, is a young writer's book full of optimism and not as deeply serious about society's problems as Charles Dickens's works became. Samuel Pickwick does not ignore the troubles of his day, but takes them in a more philosophical and lighthearted way than later characters of Dickens.
    There are hints of what is to come in Pickwick. There are hints of A Christmas Carol and a chapter about the Marshalsea Debtors Prison which figures in many works including Little Dorrit.
    There is a riotous election, a duel of sorts, a breach of promise suit and a look inside Fleet Prison. This is the darkest part of the book as Samuel Pickwick is greatly affected by the sight of a poor mother and child.
    There are delightful characters in the faithful servant Sam Weller and his father. Dickens was very particular about the names he gave his characters so Gabriel Grub is an apt name for his gravedigger.
    Today's reader of Pickwick may also be surprised by some very "modern" expressions. A person is "floored," and someone "had a screw loose."
    The delight in the works of Dickens has continued since the writer's time. Testimony to that is that his works, starting production in the 1830s, have never gone out of print.
    I always read Dickens in December and, with this book, am starting over with his classics. No idea how many times they have been read.

    Love this book! Been reading over a long time period, but it is written in such a way that you can just pick up and read another installment. Classic Dickens fantastic colorful characters who get in interesting situations. I've laughed out loud many times in this book.
    Unfortunately, I picked up something else, and set this aside. Now I've decided to try again later as I've forgotten too much. This is just the first half. So far, so good. Working on the 2nd half now. The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick ClubNotRetrouvez The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club AnnotatedThe Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Annotated Illustrated , Charles Dickens, Auto Dition Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec Les Papiers Posthumes Du Pickwick Club WikipdiaThe Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens Info The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club The Pickwick Papers, Also Known As The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club, Was The First Novel By Charles Dickens The Novel Was Published By Chapman Hall In Monthly Installments From March Ofuntil NovemberThe Pickwick Papers Dickens S Life At The Time The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick ClublignesThe Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club Also Known As The Pickwick The Pickwick Papers Wikipedia Funny to this day, this brilliant first novel by the unknown Charles Dickens broke the mold when it was published. Amusing and lighthearted. Not reading vol.2. It wasn't bad, but the characters are too irritating, book too long and satisfaction not rewarding enough "Reading" via free audiobook Absolutely amazing book!"/>
  • Hardcover
  • 484 pages
  • The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
  • Charles Dickens
  • English
  • 28 May 2019

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