The Pickwick Papers

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The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club  (1836) 
by Charles Dickens
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, better known as The Pickwick Papers, is the first novel by Charles Dickens. It was originally an idea by Robert Seymour, the illustrator, to which Dickens was asked to contribute as an up and coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1832. Dickens, supremely confident as ever, increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication after Seymour had committed suicide. With the introduction of Sam Weller the book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books and other merchandise.
— Excerpted from The Pickwick Papers on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Speaker Icon.svg one or more chapters are available in a spoken word format.

This is the 1836 edition of the book, ISBN 0140436111, taken from Project Gutenberg, with original illustrations from Wikimedia Commons. A catalogue page for this edition can be found at the Open Library and an autographed facsimile at Archive.org. The book is also available from Bibliomania and the University of Adelaide.

Open book Scans

Table of Contents[edit]

Autographed title page of a 1st edition copy in the possession of Brigham Young University available at Archive.org
Frontspiece (left)
Frontspiece (right)
  1. Chapter 1: The Pickwickians
  2. Chapter 2: The first Day’s Journey, and the first Evening’s Adventures; with their Consequences
  3. Chapter 3: A new Acquaintance—The Stroller’s Tale—A disagreeable Interruption, and an unpleasant Encounter
  4. Chapter 4: A Field Day and Bivouac—More new Friends—An Invitation to the Country
  5. Chapter 5: A short one—Showing, among other Matters, how Mr. Pickwick undertook to drive, and Mr. Winkle to ride, and how they both did it
  6. Chapter 6: An old-fashioned Card-party—The Clergyman’s verses—The Story of the Convict’s Return
  7. Chapter 7: How Mr. Winkle, instead of shooting at the Pigeon and killing the Crow, shot at the Crow and wounded the Pigeon; how the Dingley Dell Cricket Club played All-Muggleton, and how All-Muggleton dined at the Dingley Dell Expense; with other interesting and instructive Matters
  8. Chapter 8: Strongly illustrative of the Position, that the Course of True Love is not a Railway
  9. Chapter 9: A Discovery and a Chase
  10. Chapter 10: Clearing up all Doubts (if any existed) of the Disinterestedness of Mr. A. Jingle’s Character
  11. Chapter 11: Involving another Journey, and an Antiquarian Discovery; Recording Mr. Pickwick’s Determination to be present at an Election; and containing a Manuscript of the old Clergyman’s (Speaker Icon.svg "The Madman's Manuscript" portion)
  12. Chapter 12: Descriptive of a very important Proceeding on the Part of Mr. Pickwick; no less an Epoch in his Life, than in this History
  13. Chapter 13: Some Account of Eatanswill; of the State of Parties therein; and of the Election of a Member to serve in Parliament for that ancient, loyal, and patriotic Borough
  14. Chapter 14: Comprising a brief Description of the Company at the Peacock assembled; and a Tale told by a Bagman
  15. Chapter 15: In which is given a faithful Portraiture of two distinguished Persons; and an accurate Description of a public Breakfast in their House and Grounds/which public Breakfast leads to the Recognition of an old Acquaintance, and the Commencement of another Chapter
  16. Chapter 16: Too full of Adventure to be briefly described
  17. Chapter 17: Showing that an Attack of Rheumatism, in some Cases, acts as a Quickener to inventive Genius
  18. Chapter 18: Briefly illustrative of two Points; first, the Power of Hysterics, and, secondly, the Force of Circumstances
  19. Chapter 19: A pleasant Day with an unpleasant Termination
  20. Chapter 20: Showing how Dodson and Fogg were Men of Business, and their Clerks Men of pleasure; and how an affecting Interview took place between Mr. Weller and his long-lost Parent; showing also what Choice Spirits assembled at the Magpie and Stump, and what a Capital Chapter the next one will be
  21. Chapter 21: In which the old Man launches forth into his favourite Theme, and relates a Story about a queer Client
  22. Chapter 22: Mr. Pickwick journeys to Ipswich and meets with a romantic Adventure with a middle-aged Lady in yellow Curl-papers
  23. Chapter 23: In which Mr. Samuel Weller begins to devote his Energies to the Return Match between himself and Mr. Trotter
  24. Chapter 24: Wherein Mr. Peter Magnus grows jealous, and the middle-aged Lady apprehensive, which brings the Pickwickians within the Grasp of the Law
  25. Chapter 25: Showing, among a Variety of pleasant Matters, how majestic and impartial Mr. Nupkins was; and how Mr. Weller returned Mr. Job Trotter’s Shuttlecock as heavily as it came—With another Matter, which will be found in its Place
  26. Chapter 26: Which contains a brief Account of the Progress of the Action of Bardell against Pickwick
  27. Chapter 27: Samuel Weller makes a Pilgrimage to Dorking, and beholds his Mother-in-law
  28. Chapter 28: A good-humoured Christmas Chapter, containing an Account of a Wedding, and some other Sports beside/which although in their Way even as good Customs as Marriage itself, are not quite so religiously kept up, in these degenerate Times
  29. Chapter 29: The Story of the Goblins who stole a Sexton
  30. Chapter 30: How the Pickwickians made and cultivated the Acquaintance of a Couple of nice young Men belonging to one of the liberal Professions; how they disported themselves on the Ice; and how their Visit came to a Conclusion
  31. Chapter 31: Which is all about the Law, and sundry Great Authorities learned therein
  32. Chapter 32: Describes, far more fully than the Court Newsman ever did, a Bachelor’s Party, given by Mr. Bob Sawyer at his Lodgings in the Borough
  33. Chapter 33: Mr. Weller the elder delivers some Critical Sentiments respecting Literary Composition; and, assisted by his Son Samuel, pays a small Instalment of Retaliation to the Account of the Reverend Gentleman with the Red Nose
  34. Chapter 34: Is wholly devoted to a full and faithful Report of the memorable Trial of Bardell against Pickwick
  35. Chapter 35: In which Mr. Pickwick thinks he had better go to Bath; and goes accordingly
  36. Chapter 36: The chief Features of which will be found to be an authentic Version of the Legend of Prince Bladud, and a most extraordinary Calamity that befell Mr. Winkle
  37. Chapter 37: Honourably accounts for Mr. Weller’s Absence, by describing a Soiree to which he was invited and went; also relates how he was intrusted by Mr. Pickwick with a Private Mission of Delicacy and Importance
  38. Chapter 38: How Mr. Winkle, when he stepped out of the Frying-pan, walked gently and comfortably into the Fire
  39. Chapter 39: Mr. Samuel Weller, being intrusted with a Mission of Love, proceeds to execute it; with what Success will hereinafter appear
  40. Chapter 40: Introduces Mr. Pickwick to a new and not uninteresting Scene in the great Drama of Life
  41. Chapter 41: What befell Mr. Pickwick when he got into the Fleet; what Prisoners he saw there; and how he passed the Night
  42. Chapter 42: Illustrative, like the preceding one, of the old Proverb, that Adversity brings a Man acquainted with strange Bedfellows—Likewise containing Mr. Pickwick’s extraordinary and startling Announcement to Mr. Samuel Weller
  43. Chapter 43: Showing how Mr. Samuel Weller got into Difficulties
  44. Chapter 44: Treats of divers little Matters which occurred in the Fleet, and of Mr. Winkle’s mysterious Behaviour; and shows how the poor Chancery Prisoner obtained his Release at last
  45. Chapter 45: Descriptive of an affecting Interview between Mr. Samuel Weller and a Family Party. Mr. Pickwick makes a Tour of the diminutive World he inhabits, and resolves to mix with it, in Future, as little as possible
  46. Chapter 46: Records a touching Act of delicate Feeling not unmixed with Pleasantry, achieved and performed by Messrs. Dodson and Fogg
  47. Chapter 47: Is chiefly devoted to Matters of Business, and the temporal Advantage of Dodson and Fogg—Mr. Winkle reappears under extraordinary Circumstances—Mr. Pickwick’s Benevolence proves stronger than his Obstinacy
  48. Chapter 48: Relates how Mr. Pickwick, with the Assistance of Samuel Weller, essayed to soften the Heart of Mr. Benjamin Allen, and to mollify the Wrath of Mr. Robert Sawyer
  49. Chapter 49: Containing the Story of the Bagman’s Uncle
  50. Chapter 50: How Mr. Pickwick sped upon his Mission, and how he was reinforced in the Outset by a most unexpected Auxiliary
  51. Chapter 51: In which Mr. Pickwick encounters an old Acquaintance—To which fortunate Circumstance the Reader is mainly indebted for Matter of thrilling Interest herein set down, concerning two great Public Men of Might and Power
  52. Chapter 52: Involving a serious Change in the Weller Family, and the untimely Downfall of Mr. Stiggins
  53. Chapter 53: Comprising the final Exit of Mr. Jingle and Job Trotter, with a great Morning of business in Gray’s Inn Square—Concluding with a Double Knock at Mr. Perker’s Door
  54. Chapter 54: Containing some Particulars relative to the Double Knock, and other Matters/among which certain interesting Disclosures relative to Mr. Snodgrass and a Young Lady are by no Means irrelevant to this History
  55. Chapter 55: Mr. Solomon Pell, assisted by a Select Committee of Coachmen, arranges the affairs of the elder Mr. Weller
  56. Chapter 56: An important Conference takes place between Mr. Pickwick and Samuel Weller, at which his Parent assists—An old Gentleman in a snuff-coloured Suit arrives unexpectedly
  57. Chapter 57: In which the Pickwick Club is finally dissolved, and everything concluded to the Satisfaction of Everybody
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.