Charles Dickens's first novel, a comic masterpiece, but rather different in style from what he later produced. It has many very memorable characters and situations, starting with Mr Pickwick himself, the genial and curious man who starts up a club to observe the world and read papers about it. The novel is the story of one of their tours of the country. Down in Kent they play cricket, and the match with Dingley Dell is depicted on British banknotes featuring Dickens. Then they watch an election in the borough of Eatanswill, with all the furies and follies of the rivalry between the Buff and the Blue parties.

Mr Pickwick's faithful servant is Sam Weller, a cockney. (Back in those days cockney speech sometimes pronounced W as V, so he calls himself Veller.) His father is a coach driver who is keeping company with a widow who runs an inn on his route, and he issues his advice to Sammy with awful varnings about the dangers of vidders. (More Tony Weller advice: "never sign a walentine with your own name".)

Other members of Mr Pickwick's club (the novel is presented as if their papers or transactions) are younger men such as Mr Tupman, Mr Snodgrass and Mr Winkle. They fall in love given half a chance and the kindly Mr Pickwick helps them out or extricates them from misadventures. There is a plausible rogue called Jingle, and Mr Pickwick gets sued for breach of promise by his landlady, Mrs Bardell.