Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Pickwick Papers chapters 1 and 2



 
This is the first instalment of the anniversary read-along of The Pickwick Papers.  In the first chapter of the book we are introduced to Mr Pickwick and his friends - Tupman, Snodgrass and Winkle who have become members of a new branch of the Pickwick Club entitled "The Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club" and they must send "authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations" back to the club.  And so the friends set out on their travels, not to some exotic destination, but merely to the outskirts of London.

In chapter 2 we meet the stranger who manages to extricate Mr Pickwick from an altercation with a cab-driver. The stranger joins Mr Pickwick's party in the coach and they set off for Rochester.  Here they enjoy a good meal and plenty of liquid refreshment. 

When they become  aware of a ball upstairs in the tavern, the stranger expresses a wish to attend but unfortunately does not have any suitable clothing.  However Mr Tupman comes to the rescue by suggesting he borrow Mr Winkle's coat as he has fallen asleep by this stage.  The stranger and Mr Tupman go to the ball where the stranger annoys a local worthy, Doctor Slammer surgeon to the 97th, by stealing his dance partner. This leads to a difficult situation for Mr Winkle the next day when he finds out that Doctor Slammer has challenged him to a duel.  However everything works out well and Doctor Slammer is invited back to the inn to meet the other members of Mr Winkle's party.  Will the stranger also be there?


I have enjoyed the introduction to the book and am keen now to read on and see if we find out who this stranger is.  So far The Pickwick Papers has been an easy read and not as dark and depressing as Dickens' later novels. I am enjoying the humour and Dickens' keen observations of character.

This illustration is by Robert Seymour who did some the early illustrations in the book.

3 comments:

  1. Glad you're enjoying it :)

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  2. I, too, am anxious to see if the good doctor joins them for dinner and recognizes Tupman and/or "the stranger," if he's there. (I'm bettin' he will be with them, if at all possible, 'cause I'm pretty sure he's a freeloader who has found some providers! :)

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  3. I, too, am anxious to see if the good doctor joins them for dinner and recognizes Tupman and/or "the stranger," if he's there. (I'm bettin' he will be with them, if at all possible, 'cause I'm pretty sure he's a freeloader who has found some providers! :)

    ReplyDelete