The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) was Charles Dickens's first novel.
Dickens was working as a Parliamentary reporter and a roving journalist at the age of 24, and he had published a collection of sketches on London life as Sketches by Boz. Publisher Chapman & Hall was projecting a series of "cockney sporting plates" by illustrator Robert Seymour. There was to be a club, the members of which were to be sent on hunting and fishing expeditions into the country. Their guns were to go off by accident, and fishhooks were to get caught in their hats and trousers, and these and other misadventures were to be depicted in Seymour's comic plates. They asked Dickens to supply the description necessary to explain the plates and to connect them into a sort of picture novel that was fashionable at the time. He protested that he knew nothing of sport, but still accepted the commission.
The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely related adventures written for serialization in a periodical. The action is given as occurring 1827–28, though critics have noted some seeming anachronisms.
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