The Pickwick Papers  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) is Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836 (most of Dickens' novels were issued in shilling installments before being published as complete volumes). Dickens (still writing under the pseudonym of Boz) increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide.

With the introduction of Sam Weller in chapter 10, the book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise.

After the publication, the widow of Robert Seymour claimed that the idea for the novel was originally her husband's; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input, writing that "Mr Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in the book."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Pickwick Papers" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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