The Works of Charles Dickens - Vol. 7

The Works of Charles Dickens - Vol. 7

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The Works of Charles Dickens - Vol. 7

The Works of Charles Dickens - Vol. 7

Read FREE!


()Charles Dickens's satirical masterpiece, The Pickwick Papers, catapulted the young writer into literary fame when it was first serialized in 1836–37. It recounts the rollicking adventures of the members of the Pickwick Club as they travel about England getting into all sorts of mischief. Laugh-out-loud funny and endlessly entertaining, the book also reveals Dickens's burgeoning interest in the parliamentary system, lawyers, the Poor Laws, and the ills of debtors' prisons. As G. K. Chesterton noted, "Before [Dickens] wrote a single real story, he had a kind of vision... a map full of fantastic towns, thundering coaches, clamorous market-places, uproarious inns, strange and swaggering figures. That vision was Pickwick."


tifying friendship I have ever contracted, and of some of the
pleasantest hours I have ever spent--as a token of my fervent ad
miration of every fine quality of your head and heart--as an as
surance of the truth and sincerity with which I shall ever be,

My dear Sir,
Most faithfully and sincerely yours,

September 27, 1837.



TEN months have now elapsed since the appearance of the first number of the Pickwick Papers. At the close of the year, and the conclusion of half his task, their Author may perhaps, without any unwarrantable intrusion on the notice of the public, venture to say a few words for himself.

He has long been desirous to embrace the first opportunity of announcing that it is his intention to adhere to his original pledge of confining this work to twenty numbers. He has every temptation to exceed the limits he first assigned to himself, that brilliant success, an enormous and increasing sale, the kindest notice, and the most extensive popularity, can hold out. They are, one and all, sad temptations to an author, but he has determined to resist them; firstly, because he wishes to keep the strictest faith with his readers; and secondly, because he is most anxious that when the Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club form a complete work, the book may not have to contend against the heavy disadvantage of being prolonged beyond his original plan.

For ten months longer, then, if the Author be permitted to retain his health and spirits, the Pickwick Papers will be issued in their present form, and will then be completed. By what fresh adventures they may be succeeded is no matter for present consider-

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