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The Pickwick Papers: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 24 Feb 2000
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"No essay in fiction ever gave more incontestable assurance of genius. . . . Never, perhaps, was satire so large-hearted and so entertaining."--George Gissing
"The Pickwick Papers" began as a literary spoof centred around sketches of stock sporting fops by caricaturist Robert Seymour. Following the success of "Sketches by Boz", Dickens was recruited to compose the words which would accompany the illustrations. Dickens quickly made the project his own and created some of his most popular characters: Samuel Pickwick, and his companions Winkle, Augustus Snodgrass, and Tracy Tupman. At the height of its popularity "The Pickwick Papers" sold 40,000 copies a month and catapulted the 24 year old Dickens to fame.See all Product description
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One might almost describe it as therapeutic. He is a remarkable author. I am glad I ordered a whole pile of his books in order to benefit from the free postage (over £10). The work takes the form of a kind of romp with no real plot to speak of, any continuity being provided by an accumulating assemblage of characters on the way. It is a fairly long book and I admit I did waver at times particularly in the later stages and it may suffer a little from the serialisation to novel conversion conundrum. The Wordsworth Classics are pretty good in the print quality department and are very good value.
My first subject is 'The Pickwick Papers' by Charles Dickens. Dickens must be one of the most famous authors of all time, yet it is surprising how few people have read his books. Most people's knowledge of his work comes from films or TV adaptations. He is generally regarded as Victorian, but, although he wrote his novels in the Victorian era, his early life of extremes in childhood certainly made their mark on his later writings. He suffered from a father best described as 'happy go lucky' in relation to his family, and it is well known that Charles remained (as a child) in a revolting black-leading factory after his father's release from prison. These experiences undoubtedly coloured his later works, but are notably absent from this, his first work. One can surmise that rthis is due to two factors - firstly this was his first work of any consequence to be published so he was an unknown quantity to any publisher, and the one to take a chance on him published 'Pickwick Papers' in monthly form - he had to keep the readers wanting the next episode. These factors had two results: They ensured that this as a comic masterpiece, and that it could be read in seperate sections. To give any detail would spoil it - please read it and enjoy.This partcular format is a joy to own and read. The Collector's Library is beautifully produced, a prime example of the bookmaker's art..It is a long read, over one thousand pages, but the original magazine partitions mean it can be happily picked up and put down.