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The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,965127883 (3.87)393
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Pickwick Papers was Dickens' first published novel and the first ever publishing phenomenon with illegal copies, theatrical performances and merchandise. It follows the travels of Mr Pickwick and the Pickwick Club through the English countryside, and is made up of Dickens' usual array of exaggerated, comic characters. The various adventures and encounters are loosely related, suiting the serial format in which the novel was first published.

.… (more)
  1. 51
    Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books are early Dickens' novels and written in an episodic, picaresque style. Although Nicholas Nickleby is more plot-driven than The Pickwick Papers and contains some darker themes, both works are fundamentally happy Dickens novels and readers who enjoy one would probably enjoy the other.… (more)
  2. 51
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (keremix)
  3. 30
    Master Humphrey's Clock and A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Pickwick and the Wellers appear again in this collected serial, in a framing story supporting numerous short works as well as the novels The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge.
  4. 11
    London Lavender by E. V. Lucas (Porua)
    Porua: E.V. Lucas’ London Lavender is the only book I can think of that comes close to the sprawling labyrinth of various narratives and its narrator's humorous but good-natured commentary about it all of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. I certainly had the same contented feeling after reading London Lavender that I did with The Pickwick Papers.… (more)
  5. 02
    The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates (thorold)
    thorold: Pop Larkin and Mr Pickwick are both Londoners who find rural idylls in Kent, and both big fans of tomato sauce, but there's also a deeper connection between these two great comic celebrations of the pleasures of lower-middle-class "vulgarity".

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Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Dickens' second important book (after Sketches by Boz), and first novel, The Pickwick Papers is a real delight. A comic travelogue that reminds me of a cross between Pynchon's Mason and Dixon and a particularly silly Jeeves short story, it's a book in which only the most minor things go wrong, characters' lives are primarily about meditation and misunderstanding, and one can easily understand why it caused a sensation in 1836, and how Dickens came about at just the right time to capture the public spirit with his own twist on the sentimental literature of the era. I probably wouldn't recommend this for newcomers to Dickens, who should go on to read his next work, Oliver Twist, but once you know you enjoy works from this era, this is a kind of warm sip of brandy for the soul. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
Even Charles Dickens had a first book. This is it. Unlike virtually all his later works, Pickwick Papers has only the loosest of plots. It’s more the story of Mr. Pickwick and his travels. There are, to be sure, a few overarching story lines but mostly it is episodic. Most of the episodes work, but I also found a few chapters downright boring. Still, I imagine that an “abridged” Pickwick is anathema. In any event, Dickens is Dickens (which is, to my mind, a great compliment), even in his first book. The characters (and their names) are inimitable and indelible. The situations…Dickensian. And the ending, a tear-jerker. Some superb characters, some minor (such as Mr. Wardle) and certainly Pickwick himself and Sam Weller. Not among my favorites but I’m glad to have read it and don’t consider the time (it’s 800+ pages long) ill-spent—and often delightful. ( )
  Gypsy_Boy | Aug 23, 2023 |
There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.
(page 72)

Strongly illustrative of the Position, that the Course od True Love is not a Railway.
(page 135)

Can I view thee panting, lying
On thy stomach, without sighing;
Can I unmoved see thee dying
On a log
Expiring frog!

'Beautiful' said Mr. Pickwick.
'Fine,' said Mr. Leo Hunter; 'so simple.'
'Very,' said Mr. Pickwick.
(page 268)

Now, the screaming had subsided, and faces were in a glow. and curls in a tangle, and Mr. Pickwick, after kissing the old lady as before mentioned, was standing under the mistletoe, looking with a very pleased countenance on all that was passing around him, when the young lady with the black eyes, after a little whispering with the other young ladies, made a sudden dart forward, and, putting her arm round Mr. Pickwick's neck, saluted him affectionately on the left cheek; and before Mr. Pickwick distinctly knew what was the matter, he was surrounded by the whole body, and kissed by every one of them.
It was a pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick in the centre of the group, now pulled this way, and then that, and first kissed on the chin, and then on the nose, and then on the spectacles, and to hear the peals of laughter which were raised on every side;
(page 529)

'Severe weather, Sam,' observed Mr. Pickwick.
'Fine time for them as is well wropped up, as the Polar bear said to himself, ven he was practising his skating,' replied Mr Weller.
(page 547)

'The bis'ness, Samivel,' replied the old gentleman, 'good-vill, stock, and fixters, vill be sold by private contract; and out o' the money, two hundred pound, agreeable to a rekvest o' your mother-in-law's to me, a little afore she died, vill be invested in your name in - What do you call them things agin?'
'Wot things?' inquired Sam.
'Them things as is always a-goin' up and down, in the city.'
'Omnibuses?' suggested Sam.
'Nonsense,' replied Mr. Weller.
'Them things as is alvays a-fluctooatin', and gettin' theirselves inwolved somehow or another vith the national debt, and the chequers bill; and all that.'
'Oh! the funds,' said Sam.
'Ah!' rejoined Mr. Weller, 'the funs;
(page 968)

'... and all the rest o' my property, of ev'ry kind and description votsoever, to my husband, Mr. Tony Weller, who I appint as my sole eggzekiter.'
(page 1036)

'Remarkably so, indeed,' replied Mr. Pickwick. 'Very seasonable.'
'Seasonablest veather I ever see, sir,' rejoined Mr. Weller.
(page 1053)

'... The happiness of young people,' said Mr. Pickwick, a little moved, 'has ever been the chief pleasure of my life. It will warm my heart to witness the happiness of those friends who are dearest to me, benaeth my own roof.'
(page 1071)

Everything was so beautiful! The lawn in front, the garden behind, the miniature conservatory, the dining room, the drawing-room, the bedrooms, the smoking-room, and, above all, the study, with its pictures and easy-chairs, and odd cabinets, and queer tables, and books out of number, with a large cheerful window opening upon a pleasant lawn and commanding a pretty landscape, dotted here and there with little houses almost hidden by the trees; and then the curtains, and the carpets, and the chairs, and the sofas! Everything was so beautiful, so compact, so neat, and in such exquisite taste, said everybody, that there really was no deciding what to admire most.
And in the midst of all this, stood Mr. Pickwick, his countenance lighted up with smiles, which the heart of no man, woman, or child, could resist: himself the happiest of the group: ...'
(page 1074)

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. Some men, like bats or owls, have better eyes for the darkness than for the light. We, who have no such optical powers, are better pleased to take our last parting look at the visionary companions of many solitary hours, when the brief sunshine of the world is blazing full upon them.
(page 1075) ( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
I am trying to join in with a Dickens readalong on BookTube and this was November's book. Done on audio and the reader was very good. Some bits of this I liked and made me smile. But much of it was just deadly & I was desperate for it to end after 20 plus hours. So I can tick it off but the lack of plot and meandering wasn't for me. ( )
  infjsarah | Dec 27, 2022 |
Dickens’s first novel published in nineteen monthly installments over the course of 1836-1837. It is a story of the adventures of a group of friends in the English countryside. The protagonist is Samuel Pickwick, wealthy founder of the Pickwick Club. They travel by horse and carriage, overcome obstacles, and engage in comedic capers.

This serialized novel provided a primary form of entertainment, a mix of comedy, drama, and soap opera. It is amazing that this was Dickens’ first effort (at age twenty-four!) We find some inklings of content for future works. It was quite the sensation at its time of publication and showcases Dickens’s writing talents. It is long, but easy to digest in one or two chapters at a time. I enjoyed it immensely.

“I shall never regret having devoted the greater part of two years, the mixing with different varieties and shades of human character. Frivolous as my pursuit of novelty may have appeared to many, nearly the whole of my previous life having been devoted to business and the pursuit of wealth, numerous scenes of which I had no previous conception, have dawned upon me and, I hope, to the enlargement of my mind and the improvement of my understanding.” ( )
  Castlelass | Dec 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (149 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Backman, C. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bomans, GodfriedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buss, Robert W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carner, JosepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casacuberta, MiquelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cock, J.C. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Darwin, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dauphiné, Augusto C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyre, J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frith, W.P.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hellström, Lars GustavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EdgarEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mersand, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patten, Robert L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thanner, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veer, Bas van derIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waugh, AlecIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wormald, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The best edition of my books
is, of right, inscribed to my dear friend
John Forster,
Biographer of Oliver Goldsmith,
in affectionate acknowledgment
of his
counsel, sympathy, and faithful friendship
my whole literary life.
To Mr. Serjeant Talfourd, M.P. etc. etc.

My Dear Sir,
If I had not enjoyed the happiness of your private friendship, I should still have dedicated this work to you, as a slight and most inadequate acknowledgment of the inestimable services you are rendering to the literature of your country, and of the lasting benefits you will confer upon the authors of this and succeeding generations, by securing to them and their descendants a permanent interest in the copyright of their works.

... Accept the dedication of this book, my dear sir, as a mark of my warmest regard and esteem - as a memorial of the most gratifying friendship I have ever contracted, and of some of the pleasantest hours I have ever spent - as a token of my fervent admiration of every fine quality of your head and heart - as an assurance of the truth and sincerity with which I shall ever be,

My dear Sir,
Most faithfully and sincerely yours,
Charles Dickens.

48 Doughty Street,
September 27, 1837.
First words
The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted.
There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.
It is an established axiom that 'every bullet has its billet.' If it apply in an equal degree to shot, those of Mr. Winkle were unfortunate foundlings, deprived of their natural rights, cast loose upon the world, and billeted nowhere.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work The Pickwick Papers. Please do NOT combine with part 1 or part 2.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Pickwick Papers was Dickens' first published novel and the first ever publishing phenomenon with illegal copies, theatrical performances and merchandise. It follows the travels of Mr Pickwick and the Pickwick Club through the English countryside, and is made up of Dickens' usual array of exaggerated, comic characters. The various adventures and encounters are loosely related, suiting the serial format in which the novel was first published.


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Author's main characters all profess strengths or qualities that are actually missing or which are actually weaknesses.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140436111, 0141199105

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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