Death and Mr. Pickwick

Death and Mr Pickwick is a vast, richly imagined, Dickensian work about the rough and tumble world that produced an author who defined an age Like Charles Dickens did in his immortal novels, Stephen Jarvis has spun a tale full of preposterous characters, shaggy dog stories, improbable reversals, skulduggery, betrayal, and valor all true, and all brilliantly brought to liDeath and Mr Pickwick is a vast, richly imagined, Dickensian work about the rough and tumble world that produced an author who defined an age Like Charles Dickens did in his immortal novels, Stephen Jarvis has spun a tale full of preposterous characters, shaggy dog stories, improbable reversals, skulduggery, betrayal, and valor all true, and all brilliantly brought to life in his unputdownable book.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, featuring the fat and lovable Mr Pickwick and his Cockney manservant, Sam Weller, began as a series of whimsical sketches, the brainchild of the brilliant, erratic, misanthropic illustrator named Robert Seymour, a denizen of the back alleys and grimy courtyards where early nineteenth century London s printers and booksellers plied their cutthroat trade When Seymour s publishers, after trying to match his magical etchings with a number of writers, settled on a young storyteller using the pen name Boz, The Pickwick Papers went on to become a worldwide phenomenon, outselling every other book besides the Bible and Shakespeare s plays And Boz, as the young Charles Dickens signed his work, became, in the eyes of many, the most important writer of his time The fate of Robert Seymour, Mr Pickwick s creator, a very different story one untold before now.Few novels deserve to be called magnificent Death and Mr Pickwick is one of them.
Death and Mr Pickwick Death and Mr Pickwick is a vast richly imagined Dickensian work about the rough and tumble world that produced an author who defined an age Like Charles Dickens did in his immortal novels Stephen J

  • Title: Death and Mr. Pickwick
  • Author: Stephen Jarvis
  • ISBN: 9780374139667
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Death and Mr. Pickwick”

    1. I shall now tell you all about Death and….MmmmhmmmmMr PickNow, pick what… er ah yes….wick.So, here is my review. I always do one of those. Absolutely, I'm just going toIt is a gigantic novel which for the first 1000 pages seems… Uh? Oh sorry… yes, what? It’s all about some young guys becoming ill….Ah where was I? illustrators. In the early 19th whatever. I have to be honest here, it justIt’s something to do with Dickens. I think I remember that…But don’t quote me becauseI hav [...]

    2. The Pickwick Papers was a Victorian publishing phenomenon. Originally envisioned as a series of sporting tales to accompany Robert Seymour’s engravings in a monthly magazine, the story soon took on a life of its own. Debut novelist Jarvis believes that a conspiracy between Dickens and his publishers covered up two key facts: Pickwick was primarily Seymour’s creation, and Dickens’s brash attempt to take it over was the impetus for Seymour’s suicide in 1836. At 800+ pages, this novel is ch [...]

    3. I think any book that you read on the beach qualifies as a beach read, so why not an 800-page Dickensian novel about Dickens? (Wait is that meta?) Based on the story of The Pickwick Papers and the beginning of the career of Charles Dickens, this is a delightful novel, full of history and fun – and it’s now in paperback! It will charm your pants off.Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: bookriot/category/all-the-

    4. The Pickwick Papers is my favourite novel but I came to it as a young lad only after enjoying the 1952 movie version directed by Noel Langley which appeared on CBC television at Christmas in the early 1960s. Mr. Pickwick was played by James Hayter who Americans, at least those watching PBS, will remember as Mr. Tebbs in the popular British sitcom Are You Being Served. While my classmates were reading the Hardy Boys I was immersed in the adventures of the four chums on their romp by coach through [...]

    5. This is a very long and meandering book without any cohesive plot. Once I had accepted that it was going to be a series of unconnected short stories / character studies, I began to enjoy it, reading them intermittently with other books. The characters were convincing and I became absorbed in each sketch and sorry not to be following them for longer. In fact I would give the first 300 or so pages 3 stars. Then there was a more unified section dealing with Robert Seymour’s creation of Mr Pickwic [...]

    6. There is a novel in here somewhere… but at 800 pages?"First catch your hare" begins the apocryphal 18th-century recipe for jugged hare. Author Stephen Jarvis not only shows the catching of the hare, but tells you how to make the jug as well, and set the fire no doubt. There is certainly a novel here in the story of how Charles Dickens supposedly hijacked the ideas of his collaborator, illustrator Robert Seymour, in producing his first great success, The Pickwick Papers. But do we have to hear [...]

    7. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)Earlier this fall, I ended up randomly stumbling across an intriguing-looking new novel at my neighborhood library, called Death and Mr. Pickwick by Stephen Jarvis, which purports to be the "true story" behind the publishing of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers; but of course to appreciate such a novel to i [...]

    8. Absolutely amazing.Amazing scale: 800-plus pages, dozens of primary characters, an encyclopedic fictional portrait of an era.Amazing history: I assume Jarvis has done his homework in this portrayal of the people and events that turn out to be a seminal point in English literary history and the history of popular culture.Robert Seymour, the famed caricaturist whose prints made him a sensation in 19th century London--and the creator of a sketch of Mr. Pickwick, who became a fictional celebrity whe [...]

    9. I'm giving it 4 stars for effort and cleverness… but I can't say I found it particularly engaging. It follows it's the general form of it's inspiration… The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, in that it's a series of vignettes and stories as if in a journal. But the jumping around left me uninvolved and often uninterested at times. I lay it aside many times… it took me two months to read.

    10. a miraculous novel that was enthralling as well as educationallots of real history here. If you liked books like DROOD or CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, or if you love the books of Charles Divkens, you'll estvthus up.

    11. I can't believe I'm finished. 816 pages. Huge but ultimately a good read. Especially if you're a Dickens fan.

    12. This was SUCH a slog at times. It took me way longer to read than the actual Pickwick Papers. I can see why you need some of the background and lead-up, etc. and it does hearken pretty well to the meandering tangents in Pickwick Papers, but Jarvis is no Dickens and for most of the first third of the book my eyes were just glazing over.

    13. Fact, fiction, conspiracy theory or simply pure enjoyment? 'Death and Mr Pickwick' has it all.Yes, Dickens wrote 'The Pickwick Papers' (to give it the short title), that's a fact; undoubtedly Dickens and the original artist Richard Seymour together with publishers Chapman and Hall had many a chat over production and Stephen Jarvis reports many conversations, mostly purely fiction of course; as for conspiracy theory, well, it was always open to debate as to whether when 'Pickwick' (to give it an [...]

    14. Didn't quite finish this on the anniversary of Dickens' death but very close. Not surprising as its 800 pages. It is a very clever debut by this writer and deserves to to be read widely though the length will no doubt put people off. It claims that you don't have to have read Pickwick - well I beg to differ. Without knowing your way round that particular book you'd soon be lost. The cast of characters is huge (fittingly) and all in stong Dickensian mode. The structure is as baggy as Pickwick and [...]

    15. Having just finished one excellent faux (Jane Harris's OBSERVATIONS) and 2 real Victorian novels I found Jarvis's attempt to undermine Dickens's reputation while writing a Dickensian novel overlong, not as good as the above, and in the end a bit tedious. He wrote some wonderful episodes and included fascinating trivia about PICKWICK PAPERS, but the constant return to a thesis (sans footnotes) that Robert Seymour created the original ideas and characters seemed petty and mean spirited. In the end [...]

    16. Love, love, loved this. It's a big bite of a book but ultimately good fun. Especially for the bookish person. As a Dickens lover I ate this up. It took me less than a week to rip through 800+ pages. A huge thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review.

    17. I'm a big fan of Dickens and really wanted to like this book but the writing was too dry and (sometimes) boring. Took me forever to finish and I can't even think of one good plot point. Meh.

    18. This book captivated me.I feel like I understand the world and other people a little better now having read it.If any of this applies to you, I recommend you read this book: - You've enjoyed a book by Charles Dickens - You're interested in what life was like around 1800 to 1850 - You're interested in the use of images with writing - You're curious about how something becomes popular culture or goes "viral" - You like good writingDid you know that the Pickwick Papers was the most popular work of [...]

    19. I liked this book, (816 plus pages , Guv) especially the insights into the Pickwick characters and nineteenth century Holborn landmarks, the side stories and all round Pickwickmania of 1836, London. The sad tale of Charles Whitehead, afforded an early chance to pen Pickwick, who dies penniless in Melbourne Australia, is compelling and the tale of Dickens' favourite clown Grimaldi and even sadder death of Grimaldi's drunken son is a key theme in the book. Drink, wasted talent, poverty, petty squa [...]

    20. What a great book! I was quite blown away by Stephen Jarvis's investigative novel about the creation and legacy of Dickens's Pickwick Papers. Admittedly if you are a Dickens fan (like me) then you might want to approach it with some caution, as he does not come across terribly well, and portrays some traits that are only too recognisable in some of his own less morally worthy characters. Having said that, he was only human after all, and if the deception that Jarvis writes about is to be taken a [...]

    21. I have to declare my interest in ‘Death and Mr Pickwick.’ My great, great grandfather Edward Lloyd appears briefly in Stephen Jarvis's novel. Lloyd brought out versions of Dickens’s novels for the poor. The first was The Penny Pickwick. In 1837, Dickens's publishers Chapman & Hall sought an injunction against Lloyd's "fraudulent imitation" of Dickens's work in The Penny Pickwick. They lost. Lloyd’s defence: his versions were so bad, no one could mistake them for the real thing. You c [...]

    22. I LOVED this novel. I am big fan of Victorian literature, so a long read is not a problem for me. In fact, I love getting immersed in the story lines that weave in and out. We also get a chance to really get to know the characters in the book.Since Grad school, I have been intrigued by the back story to this book. What? The illustrator committed suicide? What? Dickens (then Boz) took over the publication?The detail was great. I reread Pickwick before reading this book, and then I read it hand-in [...]

    23. A MASTERWORK OF A NOVELStephen Jarvis has in Death and Mr. Pickwick created an 800+ page masterwork of a novel incorporating an astronomical amount of research and history into an incredibly readable, thought provoking, touching, funny and exciting (yes exciting) piece of literature. Multiple vignettes, each a gorgeous little fully fleshed nugget of story, are tied together so flawlessly to the main narrative of illustrator William Seymour, writer Charles Dickens and the origin, creating, publis [...]

    24. Tricky one, this. On the one hand it is no rich and detailed. So overindulgent on even the smallest matters, that I loved it. But on the other hand, there are chunks that simply wind away too far, threads dropped only to be picked up again seemingly centuries later that it is difficult to really enjoy throughout. One thing is for sure, the author needs to be admired and applauded for the sheer amount of work that has gone into this book. (Also, I am now very curious to find out more about Seymou [...]

    25. I had decided to go for quality not quantity this year and I definitely got what I was after with this delightful Dickensian novel. When I was about 13 or 14 I decided to read Dickens in chronological order so The Pickwick Papers was the first novel of his that I read. That is now 30 years ago but that didn't matter when it came to reading Death and Mr Pickwick. I know I would not have read a non-fiction book on the same subject so my thanks go to Stephen Jarvis for doing all the research for me [...]

    26. This is an important book. It needed to be written, and it needed a great author to write it. Stephen Jarvis has earned a place in history for producing this monumental account of the first publishing phenomenon: The Pickwick Papers. He investigates its true origins, and explores the full force of its impact. He stands up for an artist whose contribution was stamped out, and who left this world too soon - Robert Seymour.The attention to detail is awe-inspiring - from publishers to publicans, pug [...]

    27. Review Title: The Birth of a creationThe Pickwick Papers are recognized as Dickens's first fiction, establishing the pattern of serial publication, illustration of key scenes by comic caricatures, comic characters in contemporary but timeless settings, and tragedy, pathos, and humor mixed in equal quantities. It is regarded by many as his greatest work, but this bold historical fiction by Jarvis asks a deeper question: was Pickwick ever Dickens's creation at all?A brief summary of the accepted h [...]

    28. My book of the year (and I read over 100 a year). A comic quest novel asking who conceived the original Pickwick - Dickens or his original illustrator Seymour? Mr Imbelicate (that's one of a thousand in-jokes) has done his research very thoroughly and now draws our narrator in to the quest - for there are always details to be unearthed. This is an awe-inspiring book, brilliantly done, wickedly funny, wonderfully learned and constantly entertaining. (And the hardback is excellently produced.) Per [...]

    29. This novel tackles the writing of Charles Dickens' "Pickwick Papers", the theory that it was plagiarized. A long book that I lost focus on sometimes but nonetheless a nice adjunct to my goal of reading all of the Dickens that I have missed.

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