'It's a wery remarkable circumstance, sir, that poverty and oysters always seem to go together'
The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) launched Dickens's career in riotous style. The format of monthly serial publication, together with the picaresque nature of the comic subject matter, created a huge popular following for the young novelist. 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' is a rumbustious romp through the coaching England of Dickens's youth - a world that was fast disappearing, ironically, beneath the railways that sped his work around the globe, but rich in sentimental appeal for both Dickens and his public. From the cricket match at Dingley Dell to the Parliamentary hustings at Eatanswill, from the aphorisms of 'Cockney Boots' himself, Sam Weller, to the somnambulant Fat Boy and crafty Mr Jingle, The Pickwick Papers radiates, in the words of G. K. Chesterton, 'that sense of everlasting youth - a sense as of the gods gone wandering in England'.
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth
With their labyrinthine plots, evocative settings and unforgettable characters, the writings of Charles Dickens have delighted generations of readers. To celebrate the 2012 bicentenary of his birth, The Folio Society presents a selection of new editions of his works, based on the celebrated 1930s Nonesuch editions and featuring original illustrations by artists including Dickens’s long-term collaborator ‘Phiz’. Each volume includes an introduction specially commissioned from an esteemed writer, such as A. N. Wilson and Peter Ackroyd. They also feature individual new binding designs, with a quote from the novel blocked in gold on the front.
Read more about the life and work of Charles Dickens
Dickens was a one man powerhouse of creativity. For ordinary mortals just one of his many jobs would have been sufficient, (let alone a family of ten children). Yet despite his tours and editorial responsibilities, he wrote fifteen novels, three works of nonfiction and numerous shorter works. No wonder he should be called 'the great inimitable'.
From his pen flowed a seemingly inexhaustible series of characters who have enchanted generations of readers, whether we laugh at his comic creations or suffer alongside his heroes and heroines.