54 pages 1 hour read

Charles Dickens

Pickwick Papers

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1836

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Chapters 12-22

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 12 Summary

Content Warning: This section features discussions of sexual assault, sexism, racism, antisemitism, fatphobia, and xenophobia.

At his lodgings in London, Pickwick considers hiring a servant and asks his widowed landlady, Mrs. Bardell, about it. However, he does so in such a vague way that she thinks he’s proposing to her and faints in his arms in front of his friends and her son. Later, Pickwick meets with Sam Weller, the man from the White Hart, and hires him as his personal valet by the end of the day.

Chapter 13 Summary

The Pickwickians head to Eatanswill (a name that the editor suggests Pickwick made up to conceal its true location). This politically polarized town holds an election between the “Blue” and “Buff” parties. They meet with Mr. Perker, Pickwick’s lawyer, and his friend Mr. Pott, the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette, the Blue party’s newspaper. The inns in Eatanswill have little room, so Pickwick and Winkle stay with Mr. Potts and his wife. The next morning, Sam tells Pickwick about the ways that the two political parties of Eatanswill try to prevent members of the other party from voting and sabotage one another to win. The Pickwickians attend the elections, which are riotous, and the Blue candidate wins.