The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens

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This Is The First And The Funniest Novel By Charles Dickens. It’s Smart, Witty And Hilarious. Download The Pickwick Papers, READ online FREE or buy:

This is a very special novel, especially for the fans of Dickens. The reason – it’s the very first one he wrote. He was approached by a publisher with a proposition: as a relatively new writer on the horizon, an up-and-comer, he was to join an already-existing project. After his mighty collection of funny and dramatic stories became a success (we’re talking about Sketches by Boz), people started to notice his writing talents.

It’s a known fact that Dickens really loved the idea of publishing a small chapter every month and thus keeping folks interested in a given novel. Back then, he was still using the nickname “Boz”, and, after the illustrator, Mr. Seymour, took his own life, the now-legendary writer put his heart and soul into the struggling monthly publication, turning it into a huge hit.

The critics claim that after Dickens introduced the readers to Sam Weller, the book turned into a nation-wide hit. Yes, it was this character that helped propel The Pickwick Papers to an unbelievable level of popularity. Numerous stage plays, “pirate” copies, special joke books and all kinds of other stuff followed shortly.

The Pickwick Papers Summary

One thing we gotta make clear from the very beginning is that this novel is just a collection of moderately-related stories. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth your while. It’s just that the plot is not that cohesive as it is in Dickens’s other masterpieces.

The events take place in 1827, although it’s not officially confirmed. Mr. Pickwick, a man with a thick wallet, is the lead character of this story. He’s a kind-hearted, caring and rich old fella. He single-handedly created the Pickwick club and has been its president since day one.

Now, he’s seen many things in life, but still wants the thrill of the action, so to speak. The gentleman persuades three of his best friends to leave London and embark on a journey, a trip into the outskirts of the capital of the country and beyond.

Nobody knows what they’ll experience on this adventure, but they’ll have to share it all with the rest of the club members. The quaint and peculiar essence of life has always been a subject of interest to Mr. Pickwick, and that is exactly why he wants to leave the comfort of London and follow through with his somewhat crazy proposition.

Three Old Gents On The Journey Of Their Lives

The life-defining adventure throughout the picturesque English countryside is a major part of this novel’s story. Dickens is known for his meticulous descriptions of many things that are practically out of use today. The once-popular coaching inns have a very prominent place in the novel and the writer describes every little thing about them.

It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that the memorable characters are the greatest thing about this novel. Charles Dickens is a true wizard when it comes to creating images that get stuck in our heads for centuries. And, as always, he likes to exaggerate everything about them and writes about his heroes in a very comical, mild manner.

Mr. Jingle, the man that joins the crew in the second chapter, is one of the funniest characters in English literature. His clever yet devious tricks against the Pickwickians will make you laugh every single time. He uses his witty mind to send trouble their way, which means you’ll never feel bored while reading this wonderful novel.

One Of The Finest Comic Characters In Literature

Even if you do get fed up with Mr. Jingle, the aforementioned Sam Weller will bring the excitement back into the story in the tenth chapter. Mr. Pickwick notices him at an inn and offers him a job as his personal servant.

As far as the funniest and smartest characters of the XIX century go, Mr. Weller and Mr. Jingle are, without a doubt, one of the finest ones out there. The old rich lad is living in an idealistic world full of hopes and dreams, while Weller knows exactly what this life has to offer to the least fortunate ones.

The relationship between these two heroes is what makes this novel so special not only to the fans of Dickens but also the rest of us. By using humor as his main tool, the writer introduces the readers to numerous important aspects of life during the mid-XIX century. The critics agree that a more serious approach would be a wrong pick for this story.

One of the main reasons as to why this book became so popular is the fact that by using his exceptional sense of humor and brilliant writing skills, the master was able to draw the real portraits of the various social classes in England, allowing them to look at themselves from a different angle.

Charles Dickens And His First Breakthrough

Back when Dickens was a 24-year-old man, he used to work as a “roaming” reporter and journalist. His Sketches by Boz were already out, and Mr. Seymour was working on his new comic series. It was to feature a club that consists of rich gentlemen who go out of the country to hunt, fish, and gather new experiences.

It was meant to be a hilarious release with misadventures on every step of the way. The illustrator was busy with the so-called comic plates, and the publisher needed a writer to describe them all and to connect the individual pieces into a picture novel.

At first, Dickens claimed that he couldn’t do it because he quite literally knew nothing about the subject; yet, he later accepted the offer. However, he chose his own path and wrote a different story. But it was so good that Mr. Seymour decided to illustrate what the gifted writer put into words. That way, the story became the major selling point.

Turning A Picture Novel Into Something Entirely Different

The publisher gave it the green light and Charles Dickens created one of the finest novels about the day-to-day life in London and its outskirts. It was pretty hard to keep the balance between the writing and the illustrations, but the final result was a big hit in the UK.

Many writers tried to copy this fresh new approach; however, most of them failed, as it turned out to be quite a difficult task even for the experienced authors. Egan is one of the few who managed to repeat Dickens’s success with his legendary Tom and Jerry series.

Unfortunately, the illustrator killed himself after providing the illustrations to the 1st 2 chapters. Dickens didn’t like what his “replacement” had to offer and started to work with Mr. Browne who later drew most of the pictures to the master’s books.

The Pickwick Papers Themes

Many critics, including the great Russian novelists, mentioned numerous times that the title character of the novel was the modern-day version of the legendary Don Quixote. Besides, Weller looks and acts exactly like Don’s servant.

The thing is – growing up, Dickens really loved to read and he was a big fan of Cervantes, along with other writers from the XVIII century. Yes, Charles was inspired by literature at a very young age, and his love for it shaped the man’s future.

As for The Pickwick Papers, it was so popular that it spawned numerous follow-ups, imitations, and even real-world Clubs that embraced the rules and the ways described in the novel. For example, the PBC that was founded in 1870 (that’s when the writer passed away) is still running. It’s located in London, by the way.

The Pickwick Papers Movie, TV And Theatrical Adaptations

The very first film adaptation came out in 1913. It was a silent production; the movie cast included Mr. Bunny as the lead character and Mr. Owen as Sam Weller. Another silent film was released in ’21. Fifteen years later, in ’36, the first television opera in history premiered.

The 1st radio adaptation saw the light of day in 1938. The 1st sound version came out in 1952. In ’85, an animated edition was presented. That same year BBC introduced probably the best adaptation of Dickens’s legendary novel.

It was a miniseries consisting of 12 episodes. Naturally, given the success of the book, there were also numerous stage plays/musicals. At the end of the day, there are enough big/small screen and theatrical versions for you to check out.

 

 

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