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The Pickwick Papers Kindle Edition
|Kindle Edition, 11 December 2020||
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted.
"May 12, 1827. Joseph Smiggers, Esq., P.V.P.M.P.C.,* presiding. The following resolutions unanimously agreed to:-
"That this Association has heard read, with feelings of unmingled satisfaction, and unqualified approval, the paper communicated by Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C.,Ý entitled 'Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats;' and that this Association does hereby return its warmest thanks to the said Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., for the same.
"That while this Association is deeply sensible of the advantages which must accrue to the cause of science from the production to which they have just adverted,-no less than from the unwearied researches of Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., in Hornsey, Highgate, Brixton, and Camberwell,-they cannot but entertain a lively sense of the inestimable benefits which must inevitably result from carrying the speculations of that learned man into a wider field, from extending his travels, and consequently enlarging his sphere of observation, to the advancement of knowledge, and the diffusion of learning.
"That, with the view just mentioned, this Association has taken into its serious consideration a proposal, emanating from the aforesaid Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., and three other Pickwickians hereinafter named, for forming a new branch of United Pickwickians, under the title of The Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club.
"That the said proposal has received the sanction and approval of this Association.
"That the Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club is therefore hereby constituted; and that Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., Tracy Tupman, Esq., M.P.C., Augustus Snodgrass, Esq., M.P.C., and Nathaniel Winkle, Esq., M.P.C., are hereby nominated and appointed members of the same; and that they be requested to forward, from time to time, authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations, of their observations of character and manners, and of the whole of their adventures, together with all tales and papers to which local scenery or associations may give rise, to the Pickwick Club, stationed in London.
"That this Association cordially recognises the principle of every member of the Corresponding Society defraying his own travelling expenses; and that it sees no objection whatever to the members of the said society pursuing their inquiries for any length of time they please, upon the same terms.
"That the members of the aforesaid Corresponding Society be, and are, hereby informed, that their proposal to pay the postage of their letters, and the carriage of their parcels, has been deliberated upon by this Association: that this Association considers such proposal worthy of the great minds from which it emanated, and that it hereby signifies its perfect acquiescence therein."
A casual observer, adds the secretary, to whose notes we are indebted for the following account-a casual observer might possibly have remarked nothing extraordinary in the bald head, and circular spectacles, which were intently turned towards his (the secretary's) face, during the reading of the above resolutions: to those who knew that the gigantic brain of Pickwick was working beneath that forehead, and that the beaming eyes of Pickwick were twinkling behind those glasses, the sight was indeed an interesting one. There sat the man who had traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated the scientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm and unmoved as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as a solitary specimen of the other in the inmost recesses of an earthen jar. And how much more interesting did the spectacle become, when, starting into full life and animation, as a simultaneous call for "Pickwick" burst from his followers, that illustrious man slowly mounted into the Windsor chair, on which he had been previously seated, and addressed the club himself had founded. What a study for an artist did that exciting scene present! The eloquent Pickwick, with one hand gracefully concealed behind his coat tails, and the other waving in air, to assist his glowing declamation; his elevated position revealing those tights and gaiters,4 which, had they clothed an ordinary man, might have passed without observation, but which, when Pickwick clothed them-if we may use the expression-inspired voluntary awe and respect; surrounded by the men who had volunteered to share the perils of his travels, and who were destined to participate in the glories of his discoveries. On his right hand sat Mr. Tracy Tupman-the too susceptible Tupman, who to the wisdom and experience of maturer years superadded the enthusiasm and ardour of a boy, in the most interesting and pardonable of human weaknesses-love. Time and feeding had expanded that once romantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold watch-chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; and gradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the borders of the white cravat, but the soul of Tupman had known no change-admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion. On the left of his great leader sat the poetic Snodgrass, and near him again the sporting Winkle, the former poetically enveloped in a mysterious blue cloak with a canine-skin collar, and the latter communicating additional lustre to a new green shooting coat, plaid neckerchief, and closely-fitted drabs.
Mr. Pickwick's oration upon this occasion, together with the debate thereon, is entered on the Transactions of the Club. Both bear a strong affinity to the discussions of other celebrated bodies; and, as it is always interesting to trace a resemblance between the proceedings of great men, we transfer the entry to these pages.
"Mr. Pickwick observed (says the Secretary) that fame was dear to the heart of every man. Poetic fame was dear to the heart of his friend Snodgrass; the fame of conquest was equally dear to his friend Tupman; and the desire of earning fame in the sports of the field, the air, and the water, was uppermost in the breast of his friend Winkle. He (Mr. Pickwick) would not deny that he was influenced by human passions, and human feelings (cheers)-possibly by human weaknesses-(loud cries of 'No'); but this he would say, that if ever the fire of self-importance broke out in his bosom, the desire to benefit the human race in preference effectually quenched it. The praise of mankind was his Swing; philanthropy was his insurance office. (Vehement cheering.) He had felt some pride-he acknowledged it freely, and let his enemies make the most of it-he had felt some pride when he presented his Tittlebatian Theory to the world; it might be celebrated or it might not. (A cry of 'It is,' and great cheering.) He would take the assertion of that honourable Pickwickian whose voice he had just heard-it was celebrated; but if the fame of that treatise were to extend to the furthest confines of the known world, the pride with which he should reflect on the authorship of that production would be as nothing compared with the pride with which he looked around him, on this, the proudest moment of his existence. (Cheers.) He was a humble individual. (No, no.) Still he could not but feel that they had selected him for a service of great honour, and of some danger. Travelling was in a troubled state, and the minds of coachmen were unsettled. Let them look abroad, and contemplate the scenes which were enacting around them. Stage coaches were upsetting in all directions, horses were bolting, boats were overturning, and boilers were bursting. (Cheers-a voice 'No.') No! (Cheers.) Let that honourable Pickwickian who cried 'No' so loudly come forward and deny it, if he could. (Cheers.) Who was it that cried 'No?' (Enthusiastic cheering.) Was it some vain and disappointed man-he would not say haberdasher-(loud cheers)-who, jealous of the praise which had been-perhaps undeservedly-bestowed on his (Mr. Pickwick's) researches, and smarting under the censure which had been heaped upon his own feeble attempts at rivalry, now took this vile and calumnious mode of--
"Mr. Blotton (of Aldgate) rose to order. Did the honourable Pickwickian allude to him? (Cries of 'Order,' 'Chair,' "'Yes,' 'No,' 'Go on,' 'Leave off,' &c.)
"Mr. Pickwick would not put up to be put down by clamour. He had alluded to the honourable gentleman. (Great excitement.)
"Mr. Blotton would only say then, that he repelled the hon. gent.'s false and scurrilous accusation, with profound contempt. (Great cheering.) The hon. gent. was a humbug. (Immense confusion, and loud cries of 'Chair' and 'Order.')
"Mr. A. Snodgrass rose to order. He threw himself upon the chair. (Hear.) He wished to know whether this disgraceful contest between two members of that club should be allowed to continue. (Hear, hear.)
"The Chairman was quite sure the hon. Pickwickian would withdraw the expression he had just made use of.
"Mr. Blotton, with all possible respect for the chair, was quite sure he would not.
"The Chairman felt it his imperative duty to demand of the honourable gentleman, whether he had used the expression which had just escaped him in a common sense.
"Mr. Blotton had no hesitation in saying that he had not-he had used the word in its Pickwickian sense. ... --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07F8B2KCB
- Publisher : Beelzebub Classics (11 December 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 1330 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 866 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #305,298 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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By saumya vasudevan on 31 January 2021
For this copy, I have no complaints. I got it at a decent discounted price of Rs 100. Binding and page quality is okay.
Top reviews from other countries
This book, which is full of incident has a number of stories within the main story, some of which are supernatural, and reminds us that Dickens loved a good ghost story, but is also slightly bawdy, and those who know of Dickens, his life and pleasures will see similarities in places to Tobias Smollett, who Dickens did love to read. Here then we meet Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, the head and founder of the Pickwick Club. We are then provided with this story, in what can be seen as a series of tales that are at times quite loosely connected, although with certain themes and elements running throughout them all.
Off on trips around Kent, the Midlands and down to Bristol and Bath, most of the book does take place in London, although I suspect that like me a lot of people would like to visit the wonderfully named town of Eatanswill. With a number of scrapes taking place, with Pickwick himself accused of breach of promise, and finding himself accidentally in another woman’s bedchamber so we see a court case, and even a stay in debtors’ prison, indeed there are other incidents that are here that appear in greater detail in later books by this author. With a host of wonderful characters, that are brought to life in all their glory, whether they be good or bad, good looking or ugly, so we have a number of unforgettable names to go with them.
We can already see the satire and social commentary that the author became better known for as he continued with his writing and this is always a joy to read. It is perhaps hard for people to understand how popular this became as it was being serially published. If you think of the popularity of the Harry Potter novels and the queues of people waiting to buy the next book, then imagine people avidly queuing to buy a magazine each month for the next instalment of this tale, then you will have some idea how popular this book was, and why it is still read and re-read by so many of us today. Influential of course as Dickens’ works have proven to be if you have never read this before then you really should do so, because this is what entertainment is about, as there is something for everyone here.
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.
I found the funniest parts of the book to be the early chapters where Dickens seems to be concentrating more on pure humour/satire by creating brilliant caricatures and there were several incidents that had me laughing out loud whilst I was reading (fortunately I was reading at home). As the serial progresses Dickens seems to move away from this approach to create more rounded, sympathetic characters, particularly where Mr Pickwick himself is concerned and whilst that meant there were fewer laugh out loud moments it also meant I became fonder of the characters.
A note on my edition: My copy was the 2003 Penguin Classics edition and as well as including some very helpful notes on the text and an introduction, this edition also showed where each monthly part ended so I was able to read along as the original subscribers to the serial would have received it (yes, I am a Dickens geek). This edition also comes complete with the original illustrations by Seymour and Phiz which are absolutely superb and really add to the story.
All in all, I can't recommend this book enough and I'm only sorry it took me so long to get round to rereading it.