Further Reading on
The Pickwick Papers
The literature on The Pickwick Papers is vast. My personal list of works which I read or consulted during the writing of Death and Mr Pickwick runs to 112 A4 pages, with often over 30 items listed per page - and that does not include literally hundreds of newspaper clippings, letters, prints and other items, to be found in museums and online archives.
However, certain key works are especially worthy of mention :
The Pickwick Papers: An Annotated Bibliography by Elliot D. Engel. Though now in need of revision - it was published in 1990 - Engel’s bibliography is the single most important guide to the literature on The Pickwick Papers. Many hundreds of items are listed and commented upon.
The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi by Andrew McConnell Stott . An excellent book on the great clown. Includes a chapter on Grimaldi’s son, whose life inspired the tale of the dying clown in The Pickwick Papers.
City of Laughter by Vic Gattrell. Lavishly illustrated, this is a wonderful book exploring “debauchery prints”, which circulated just prior to the publication of The Pickwick Papers.
Serial Journalism and the Transformation of English Graphic Satire by Richard Pound. (Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London, 2002). An important analysis of magazines such as Figaro in London and McLean’s Monthly Sheet, to which Robert Seymour contributed.
Joseph Severn, A Life: The Rewards of Friendship by Sue Brown. A great biography of Seymour’s friend and artistic mentor.
The Case of Thomas Clarke and The Cobbler’s Story in The Pickwick Papers by Masako Uchida in Ochanomizu Joshi Daigaku Jimbun Kagaku Kiyo 49 , 1996. Uchida explores what is arguably the most outrageous case of imprisonment for debt in nineteenth-century England.
George Cruikshank’s Life, Times and Art (2 vols) by Robert L. Patten. The definitive academic work on Seymour’s great contemporary, with much additional information on the world of London prints in the nineteenth century.
Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens by Valerie Browne Lester. A fascinating biography of Hablot Browne, written by his great-great-granddaughter.
Charles DIckens and his Original Illustrators by Jane R Cohen. An extremely important work of scholarship on all the artists who illustrated Dickens's fiction
The Chronicles of Death and Mr Pickwick
At the Death and Mr Pickwick facebook page
you will find a tremendous amount of material: pictures by Robert Seymour and other artists, reports of excursions to places connected to the novel, historical investigations and much more. I am collecting the daily posts, by myself and others, into e-flip books, forming The Chronicles of Death and Mr Pickwick. Volumes 1 to 14 are now available, and you can find them here:
Note that you can zoom and that viewing is available in single-page, double-page or multi-page format.