The Pickwick Papers, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


With an Introduction and Notes by David Ellis, University of Kent at Canterbury.

With Illustrations by R.Seymour, R.W. Buss and Hablot K. Browne (Phiz). 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853260520

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

I believe this was my favorite book in ninth grade. Once through the first chapter I laughed through the whole book.

Review by

The only Dickens novel that I have never been able to finish.

Review by

My first Dickens and a struggle to get into. I'll re-visit when I've developed my reading some more.

Review by

Dickens’ <u>Pickwick Papers</u> is comprised of a series of adventures taken up by Samuel Pickwick, a wealthy retired businessman and a few of his cronies, in and around London. Originally published serially, Dickens ended most chapters with a hook for readers to hang on, as they awaited the next installment. Like all Dickens novels, it was the author’s uncanny ability to draw intricately detailed characters that come across as the essence of 19th century London. Pickwick himself is a sweet, kind man who goes out of his way to help others and righteously stands up for principles he considers vital to humanity. He is sued for breach of contract by Mrs. Bardel when she falls into his lap and then Pickwick doesn’t marry her. He naively opts for debtor’s prison rather than pay the fees demanded by her unscrupulous lawyers when he loses the case. I’ve learned that Dickens had little use for lawyers and often skewered them and the law in general. He uses Pickwick’s three months in debtor’s prison to lambaste that system and the horrid conditions that prevailed.By far my favorite character was Pickwick’s valet, Sam Weller, who serves his master and advises him with Cockney wisdom. He spouts, what I came to call “Sam-isms” for nearly every situation that arises and clearly reveals his philosophy of life.<i>”Hooroar for the principle, as the money-lender said ven he wouldn’t renew the bill.”“’Vell sir,’ rejoined Sam, ‘I think I see your drift, it’s my pinion that you’re a-comin’ it a great deal too strong, as the mail-coachman said to the snowstorm, ven it overtook him.’”“’Well, perhaps,’ said Sam, ‘you bought houses, wich is delicate English for goin’ mad, wich is a medical term for bein’ incurable.’”“’I wouldn’t make too sure o’ that, Sir,’ urged Mr. Weller, shaking his head. ‘If you know’d who was near, sir, I rayther think you’d change your note; as the hawk remarked to himself vith a cheerful laugh, ven he heerd the robin-redbreast a-singin’ round the corner.’”“’Don’t say nothin’ wotever about it, ma’am,’ replied Sam. I only assisted nature, ma’am; as the doctor said to the boy’s mother, after he’d bled him to death.’” </i>Sam’s witticisms are part of the overall humor that infuses the narrative and I found myself laughing out loud. It’s a feel good novel as we follow Pickwick and his friends on their merry adventures but it’s Sam who steals the show. Highly recommended.

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