The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens


The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) was Charles Dickens's first novel. Because of his success with Sketches by Boz published in 1836, Dickens was asked by the publisher Chapman & Hall to supply descriptions to explain a series of comic "cockney sporting plates" by illustrator Robert Seymour, and to connect them into a novel. The book became Britain's first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise. On its cultural impact, Nicholas Dames in The Atlantic writes, “Literature” is not a big enough category for Pickwick. It defined its own, a new one that we have learned to call “entertainment.” Published in 19 issues over 20 months, the success of The Pickwick Papers popularised serialised fiction and cliffhanger endings.
Seymour's widow claimed that the idea for the novel was originally her husband's, but Dickens strenuously denied any specific input in his preface to the 1867 edition: "Mr Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in the book."
Excerpted from The Pickwick Papers on Wikipedia.

person AuthorCharles Dickens
language CountryEngland
api GenreAdventure, Satire, Humorous stories
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover"Mr Pickwick"
Image: Kyd | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
Reader: Hamlet
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auto_stories Read onlineThe Pickwick Papers I, II, III