‘The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club’ was the 24 year old Charles Dickens’s  serialised debut novel. Such publications in 1836 were the soaps of the period before television and a more leisurely age when reading was a main source of entertainment. The monthly instalments of these comic capers were eagerly awaited by those inContinue reading “Characterisation”


This morning we visited Shelley and Ron’s home bearing flowers and cards for a particular occasion. Ron was otherwise engaged, but Helen was also present. We enjoyed coffee and conversation and returned home for lunch. Having reached page 556 of The Pickwick Papers I am ready to reproduce another batch of Charles Keeping’s illustrations toContinue reading “Fidelity”

An Epitome

The impending visit by storm Dennis determined that we batten down the hatches and stay indoors. In the event the morning was quite mild so Jackie ventured out to Everton Nursery to purchase a couple of double hellebores that she had heard they were stocking. One even held up its head at the prospect ofContinue reading “An Epitome”

Keeping Dickens

Charle Keeping was probably my favourite contemporary book illustrator. So, when, in the late 1970s, the Folio Society sought members’ recommendations for pairings of books and illustrators, there was only one possible submission for me. In 1981 the first of the Dickens series was published. Derek Parker reviewed it thus in The Times on 4thContinue reading “Keeping Dickens”

The First Gothic Novel

Jackie, as usual, drove me to and from New Milton for my trip to London to visit Norman for lunch, and Carol afterwards. I took my usual routes from Waterloo to their respective homes. A woman also being delivered to the home station this morning, left her driver with a farewell that had me chuckling.Continue reading “The First Gothic Novel”