THE PICKWICK PAPERS (annotated)
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Volume I only of a two volume set. Bound in blue cloth covered boards stamped in gilt. Collected and annotated by C. Van Noorden. Top edge is gilt and the fore- and bottom-edges are rough cut. Some pages remain unopened. A very good copy. Many of the fifty introductory pages have toning. None of the plates have this problem as the quality of paper used for them is much better.
The text of the novel has a few pages with toning but, again, none of the plates. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 1. Condition: Good. Phiz illustrator. The greatest cartoonist of the age was probably James Gillray, but Seymour was a very substantial cartoonist too. He was the most prolific cartoonist of his time, and it is estimated that he drew one-third of all the cartoons published in London, a phenomenal rate of output. Q : Your research into the artists, printmakers, and booksellers of Dickensian London must have been massive.
Tell us about your process. What books and sources did you find most useful? A : The research was a mountain. It used to be said that more had been written about The Pickwick Papers than any other work of fiction, and I can believe it: there are literally thousands of books, academic papers and articles about Pickwick , and I made it my goal to read everything ever written about the novel, in order to truly understand the Pickwick phenomenon, and the historical circumstances which created it. I will choose three books as particularly significant. Firstly, City of Laughter by Vic Gatrell.
The Pickwick Papers emerged from traditions of graphic caricature, but public morality was changing, and the old prints were no longer acceptable, and Gatrell brilliantly documents the period of 'anything goes' humour before Pickwick. Seymour shot himself shortly after drawing a picture of a dying clown for The Pickwick Papers , and the clown was based upon the tragic life of a real person, J S Grimaldi, the son of the great clown Joseph Grimaldi.
Stott's book truly helped me to understand both father and son. Although this book is now in need of updating, it remains the key guide to the literature on The Pickwick Papers. View all 57 comments. It started off a bit uneven, filled with vignettes and sketches that seemed to anticipate the later genius of Dickens and even presented several shadows of future books and stories. After pages I figured I would have another pages of various Pickwick club digressions. There would be interesting characters Sam Weller, Alfred Jingle, etc.
The narrative started to bog down, however, during the next couple hundred pages. The book had little velocity and the digressions seemed to have stalled, but then something happened. Dickens absolutely found his genius. It is interesting to behold a great author find his voice. I'm not just talking about any author or any voice. It was like watching a bird hatch, a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. More than the story, which ended very well, the book is worth the effort for what it shows about Dickens.
This isn't the first Dickens I'd read, but after you've read a bunch of Dickens, I'd definitely read this just to soak in Dickens growth and his views on friendship, marriage, lawyers, and debt. View all 17 comments. He was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in most of Dickens' novels were issued in shilling instalments before being published as complete volumes. Dickens still writing under the pseudonym of Boz increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide.
Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely related adventures. The action is given as occurring —8, though critics have noted some seeming anachronisms. The novel's main character, Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other "Pickwickians" Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman should make journeys to places remote from London and report on their findings to the other members of the club.
Their travels throughout the English countryside by coach provide the chief theme of the novel. A distinctive and valuable feature of the work is the generally accurate description of the old coaching inns of England. One of the main families running the Bristol to Bath coaches at the time was started by Eleazer Pickwick. Have you read The Pickwick Papers? It does seem to be the one work by Charles Dickens which is sadly neglected by many readers. They were then reissued in a volume as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in when Dickens was still only They comprise humorous sketches, themselves interspersed with incidental tales, such as "The Goblins w Have you read The Pickwick Papers?
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 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 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!
Pickwick Papers: An Annotated Bibliography
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 back-story 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. 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 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 character-heavy 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 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' 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 time - or even Dickens' own future novels - as this is not how it was conceived. Chapman and Hall printed only copies of the first monthly instalment, but by the end of the serial 40, 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'? 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.
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He says, "There's somethin' wrong here. We's our letter - this won't do. 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. Dickens' 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 the incident with the "lady in yellow curl papers. 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.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens
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. View all 37 comments. The middle classes in this country still aspire to some half-baked bucolic idyll—renting a farmhouse, living off the land, swinging on a hammock reading Balzac while buxom farmlasses frolic in the Devonshire sun.
The reality? This is a rambling and rambunctious comedic debut from the soon-to-be Bard of Blighty, rich in top-flight farce, whip-smart satire, and politely scabrous social comment. Pickwick for being caught in flagrante consoling his housekeeper. The touching bromance between Samuel and Pickwick, the hilarious Mr.
View all 18 comments. I read this out in the garden, of the small house my parents bought before buying an even smaller one in a moderately more expensive street, anyhow I sat in a broad bottomed wicker chair beneath a flowering jasmine bush view spoiler [ which had grown to dominate the garden, we had it propped up on a trellis so we could see out the kitchen window and the cat would climb through it to reach the upper floor hide spoiler ] , one summer many years ago.
It was the first book by Dickens that I enjoyed I read this out in the garden, of the small house my parents bought before buying an even smaller one in a moderately more expensive street, anyhow I sat in a broad bottomed wicker chair beneath a flowering jasmine bush view spoiler [ which had grown to dominate the garden, we had it propped up on a trellis so we could see out the kitchen window and the cat would climb through it to reach the upper floor hide spoiler ] , one summer many years ago.
It was the first book by Dickens that I enjoyed reading. Don Quixote no doubt would have read this as a melancholy company of prisoners of war being marched to some grim camp and challenged their guardians to trial by battle, but I have a peaceful disposition. These early books by Dickens were the ones which were translated in to French and then went on to influence European literature in the early nineteenth century with its broad humour of odd characters and mixing social classes in comic situations although I suppose Cervantes is the ultimate model for that coming down to shape Dickens via Smolett among others, since I tend to pronounce 'th' as 'f' view spoiler [ perhaps this gives a Kliestian cast to my thinking with words wrestling each other into sentences hide spoiler ] in a lasting tribute to my early sauf London upbringing I was interested in Dickens' rendering of the Wellers speech patterns.
I don't know, it is nice to see a nod to distinctive speech patterns , but it establishes a hierarchy of language at the same time those whose words are spelt correctly, speak correctly, but luckily for me no one can hear me type this. View all 19 comments. The Pickwick Papers promised heft. Weighing in at pages and larded with indices and erudite observations, the project promised muscle training, if nothing else.
The serial natural of the narrative and general zany approach was also apprehended. I simply wasn't prepared, however, for Sam Weller. Oh lord, he may be my favorite character in recent memory. I wasn't prepared for such. I was expecting tales of the idle and curious confronting rural and proltarian situations, if only for hilarity a The Pickwick Papers promised heft. I was expecting tales of the idle and curious confronting rural and proltarian situations, if only for hilarity and general misunderstanding to ensue.
I didn't expect the wit and loyalty of young Weller, especially as the novel takes a rather dark turn and visits the black humors of Dickens' past. Along the journey, politicans, journalists, bankers and lawyers submit to tar-and-feathering: we are all the better for such. There's a surfeit of humiliation, but few are actually mean, as such.
Yes, the final fifth met the approval standards of its period. There are a slew of marriage plots to be resolved. Somehow that struck me as an addendum for decorum's sake. The novel becomes a meditation on friendship; between Pickwick and Weller, Sam and his father, the reader and Dickens.
I'm looking forward to reading all of Dickens this year; The Pickwick Papers was a marvelous inaugeration. View all 6 comments. I'm sure that nothing I say here has not already been said, but here goes. This is the most light-hearted Dickens' I've read thus far, although there are hints and glimpses of his social activism to be found.
This is his first novel, and you can see the seeds of who he will become already sprouting. It is amazing to read this and realize that he wrote this when he was Besides his youth, the method of writing is very limiting--he writes this in serial form, so each installment leaves hi I'm sure that nothing I say here has not already been said, but here goes.
Besides his youth, the method of writing is very limiting--he writes this in serial form, so each installment leaves his hands to be published and cannot be edited. How many novelists can work under the pressure of being unable to make changes in their work? Not to mention that he begins the serial presentation of Oliver Twist while still producing The Pickwick Papers. Such a schedule had to have been grueling for the young writer.
His talent for satire and caricature are already on display here as he introduces us to a procession of comic characters as the Pickwickians bumble from one adventure to the next. My favorite characters were Mr. Jingle, a sly con-artist who manages to get the best of the Pickwickians in several instances before getting his comeuppance, and the Wellers, both father and son. Their comical exchanges frequently brought a smile to my face.
Sam, as Mr. Pickwick's faithful manservant, brings some much-needed common sense and street-smarts to the credulous quartet. We can see where Sam acquires his rather cynical view of humanity when we are introduced to his father, the career coachman whose household felicity is being sabotaged by a hypocritical "shepherd" who has the gullible Mrs. Weller in thrall. There are far too many characters who make their brief but impressionable appearances in these pages to acknowledge, but Dickens' genius for creating these images, both grotesque and farcical, of people we can recognize and identify with is already apparent, although it will continue to develop in each successive venture.
This is a must-read for any ardent Dickens fan, or for someone looking to become one which, in my opinion, should be everyone! View all 8 comments. It's over, and can't be helped, She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, sir. You may have met with her 'Ode to an Expiring Frog,' sir. This boost coincides with the introduction of Dickens' first humorous character, Samuel Sam Weller, Mr.
Pickwick's personal servant and companion, and his hilarious cockney accent who pronounces his surname as "Veller," with nearly all beginning W's and V's used interchangeably and humorous sayings, such as "It's over, and can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they always say in Turkey when they cut the wrong man's head off.
I enjoyed it when considering it was Dickens' first and gave way to many more memorable characters and superior stories, such as those in David Copperfield and Great Expectations. Who needs a plot when you have wit?! This is less a novel more a series of continued vignettes disguised as a narrative, and I really liked it.
It's essentially "Three Men in a Boat" but pages long. I found this while clearing out the cellar. The price inside the front cover is one pound seventy five, and there's a card inside from an antiquarian bookshop in St Andrews. I have zero recall of buying it, although I do remember visits to St Andrews, and losing one daughter in the haar at the beach. Luckily it was the sensible daughter, not inclined to panic. Waugh had been appointed I found this while clearing out the cellar. Green binding with gold lettering and crest!
Unfortunately it has not aged well, at least not as a physical object. Paper: yellow and too thin, allowing the print on the reverse to shimmer through, and a curiously hard-on-the-eyes typeface. This is partly what slowed me down - there are not enough lamps in the whole of IKEA to make it easy on the peepers. So this is the one that changed everything. This is the one that proved it possible to actually make money from writing. They had managed to keep their rising star sweet by giving him bonuses, but now they had to re-negotiate the monthly payments.
In April , when Dickens started Pickwick, he was paid 20 pounds a month. For Nicholas Nickleby he was offered dramatic pause one hundred and fifty.