The Pickwick Papers (Hardcover)
In Charles Dickens’ first (and, I find, most endearing) book, we follow
the ludicrous Mr. Pickwick and friends as they ramble about England
to “observe things” for the club that they are a part of. Along the way
they meet up with the quintessential Dickensian array of insane
characters. The format of having them wandering about without a clear
purpose besides observation really gives Dickens the chance to stretch
his legs comedically. hilarious, even for Dicken, though it is equally
wise. I would not recommend it on that basis alone. It contains some of
his best social commentary, a thing which he became well known for,
mocking a decadent aristocratic class that is just a blown up version of
those we see today.
The Pickwick Papers is Charles Dickens's first novel, and his comic masterpiece. We are introduced not just to one of the greatest writers in the English language but to some of fiction's most endearing and memorable characters, starting with the "illustrious, immortal and colossal-minded" Samuel Pickwick himself. It is a rollicking tour de force through an England on the brink of the Victorian era. Reform of government, justice, and commercial life are imminent, as are rail travel, social convulsion, and the death of deference, but Pickwick sails through on a tide of delirious adventure, fortifying us for the future-whatever it throws at us.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was twenty-five when The Pickwick Papers, his first novel, was published in 1836. Appearing just a few weeks after his first book, a pseudonymous collection of his journalism, Sketches by Boz, the novel, made his name. After a childhood blighted by the fecklessness of a father who later inspired the figure of Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield, Dickens went on to become the giant of nineteenth-century literature, the father of ten children in an unhappy marriage, and the lens through which millions of readers have viewed, and continue to view, the most convulsive and formative years in British social history-the Victorian era.