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The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens - January 2019


At our January meeting we discussed The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.  The Pickwick Papers was Dickens’ first novel and includes humour, well drawn characters and a sense of social justice, features which are also found in his later and more famous books.  It is a long book, so we had two months to read it.


The views of the group members were very divergent and a number of people did not finish reading the novel.  People who didn’t enjoy the book made comments like “I found The Pickwick Papers was virtually unreadable due to the flowery Victorian English and the tortuous plots of the chapters. Dickens uses a dozen words when he could have used three” or “Too long, drawn out and slow”.


However other group members really enjoyed the book and found it to be laugh-out-loud funny, an interesting social history of the early nineteenth century before the arrival of the railways and that it contained vivid pictures of the corruption of the courts, the debtor’s prisons and of parliamentary elections before the 1831 Reform Act abolished rotten boroughs.  


Members who enjoyed the novel made comments like “Loved it, Dickens had a marvellous command of the English Language” or “Loved all the characters and Dickens sense of social justice. Enjoyed rereading it.”


Despite our disagreements the meeting was friendly and good-natured, and we all enjoyed it.



Andy Moir





This page last edited on 03 February 2019