Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Dickens, Charles "The Pickwick Papers"

Dickens, Charles "The Pickwick Papers" - 1836

The first novel of one of the greatest authors in history. As many novels at the time, it appeared in instalments in the newspaper. This makes the novel so easy to read, even though it has about 1,000 pages. Every chapter had to be finished in a day and you don't end up with some that go over several days.
Dickens has probably become so widely known and loved because he had a certain way to keep his readers in suspension but also because his language was easy to understand which does not necessarily mean it was simply written, not at all.

As in his other novels, he can make a big story out of any little occurrence, there is a lot of humour in his writing which is critical at the same time.

You can hardly believe that the author was only 24 when he wrote this work. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, has three good friends, Messrs. Nathaniel Winkle, Augustus Snodgrass and Tracy Tupman with whom he starts "The Pickwick Club", a group that wants to explore the country by travelling through it and then report back to the other members. On their different voyages, they experience several bigger and smaller adventures but they always make us laugh. At the same time, Dickens draws a great picture of the different classes and life in the middle of the 19th century in the United Kingdom. He shows again why he is one of the greatest authors that have ever lived.

My favourite is still "Great Expectations" and I also read "A Tale of Two Cities" and "A Christmas Carol". You can find all my Dickens related posts here.

From the back cover: "The Pickwick Papers is Dickens' first novel and widely regarded as one of the major classics of comic writing in English. Originally serialised in monthly instalments, it quickly became a huge popular success with sales reaching 40,000 by the final part. In the century and a half since its first appearance, the characters of Mr Pickwick, Sam Weller and the whole of the Pickwickian crew have entered the consciousness of all who love English literature in general, and the works of Dickens in particular."

9 comments:

  1. Other than A Christmas Carol my only Dicken's novel is David Copperfield. I loved it and plan on reading more of his, just haven't gotten around to it.

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    1. I haven't read "David Copperfield", maybe I shoul put that next on my Dickens TBR list. If you did enjoy the two novels you are talking about, I am sure you will like any other Dickens books, as well.

      Have a nice Sunday,
      Marianne

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  2. Hi - I was pleased to read this review of The Pickwick Papers. These days, Pickwick is one of Dickens's least-read novels, and I think that is such a shame. You ended by saying that Great Expectations was still your favourite, and I think a lot of people will share your enthusiasm for that novel, but I think there is one aspect of Pickwick which in my view cannot be topped by Great Expectations, or by any other novel, by anyone - and that is Pickwick's "backstory": how the novel came to be, and what happened afterwards. It cries out to be turned into a novel itself - and so that is what I have done. My novel is called Death and Mr Pickwick, and it will be published by Random House on 21st May. You can find out more at: www.deathandmrpickwick.com I hope that my novel will help to revive Pickwick's fortunes. Best wishes Stephen Jarvis

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    1. Thank you, I will look for it. I don't usually read follow-up novels written by other authors but this sounds like something different. It is on my wish list now.

      Have a good Sunday,
      Marianne

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    2. That's great Marianne, thank you. Yes, I think my novel is different - I don't know whether anyone has ever written the backstory of a novel before. There have been prequels and sequels to Pickwick - indeed, there was even a Pickwick sequel written by GMW Reynolds in Dickens's time - and Dickens himself wrote about Mr Pickwick again in Master Humphrey's Clock, but the story of how Pickwick came to be is something new. Anyway. thanks once again. If you ever want to exchange messages, about Pickwick or anything else, I would be delighted to hear from you. Best wishes Stephen

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    3. That is a very nice offer, Stephen, thank you, I will certainly get back to that. I have put "Death and Mr. Pickwick" on my wishlist, but quite high up, so should probably read it soon. Seems it comes out at the same time in the UK, as well.

      Take care,
      Marianne

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    4. Wonderful, Marianne. I have always hoped that I would make some new friendships and associations by writing the novel. Do take a look at the novel's facebook page, too. I post bits and pieces of Pickwickiana there most days. It's at www.facebook.com/deathandmrpickwick

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    5. Thank you, I will certainly do. And thanks for re-adding me on Google+. I'm not there much because most of my friends are on Facebook but I post from time to time. Will definitely add you to my "bookworm" circle.

      Have a good week,
      Marianne

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  3. Hi - I was pleased to read this review of The Pickwick Papers. These days, Pickwick is one of Dickens's least-read novels, and I think that is such a shame. You ended by saying that Great Expectations was still your favourite, and I think a lot of people will share your enthusiasm for that novel, but I think there is one aspect of Pickwick which in my view cannot be topped by Great Expectations, or by any other novel, by anyone - and that is Pickwick's "backstory": how the novel came to be, and what happened afterwards. It cries out to be turned into a novel itself - and so that is what I have done. My novel is called Death and Mr Pickwick, and it will be published by Random House on 21st May. You can find out more at: www.deathandmrpickwick.com I hope that my novel will help to revive Pickwick's fortunes. Best wishes Stephen Jarvis

    ReplyDelete