Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Pickwick’s Papers

Charles Dickens’s books are read by all - by learned and simple, by rich and poor alike. The chief cause of his popularity is the great-heartedness of Dickens. He was one who loved his fellow-men. His kindly, humorous, understanding eye looked with tolerance on good and bad alike. His characters are more real to us than the characters of any other novelist, English or foreign.

In 1833 the first book by Ch. Dickens under the title «Sketches by Boz» was published. In 1836 «Pickwick Papers» were published, and Dickens became famous at once. The story was rather strange. A firm of publishers, «Chapman and Hall», had a number of pictures by a humorous artist, Seymor. They wanted to get some short articles to illustrate them and to publish in a magazine in fortnightly parts. Someone suggested that the young newspaper reporter, Charles Dickens, could do the job. It was a job after his own heart, and Dickens accepted the offer. He only asked for more freedom in writing than had been planned. The publishers agreed - and so «Pickwick Papers» came into being. For the first fortnightly part of the book the publishers printed 400 copies. But such was its popularity that for Part 15 more than 40 000 copies had to be printed. At one stride Dickens became the most popular living novelist.

The book is about Mr. Pickwick and his three friends, Mr. Tupman, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Winkle. Mr. Pickwick is a stout, good-natured, very simple-hearted old gentleman. He is the General Chairman of the Pickwick Club, and he and his friends decide to travel about England and send to the Pickwick Club in London an account of their journeys. The humour of the book consists chiefly in the awkward situations that Mr. Pickwick and his friends get themselves into. They are deceived, put into prison for debt, etc. Though we laugh at Mr. Pickwick, we in fact love him all the more. That is what we mean by «humour». Mr. Pickwick is perhaps the greatest comic figure in English literature.

Topical Vocabulary

- the chief cause of one’s popularity
основная причина чьей-либо популярности
доброта, великодушие
to look with tolerance on smth., smb.
смотреть на что-либо, кого-либо терпимо
a novelist
- «Sketches by Boz»
«Записки Боза»
to be published
быть опубликованным
«Pickwick Papers»
«Записки Пиквикского клуба»
to become famous
a firm of publishers
издательская фирма
in fortnightly parts
зд.: раз в две недели
a job after one’s own heart
работа по сердцу
to accept the offer
принять предложение
to ask for more freedom in writing
зд.: попросить о большей свободе в написании книги
to come into being
to print
a copy
at one stride
the most popular living novelist
самый популярный писатель того времени
- a good-natured gentleman
добродушный джентльмен
The General Chairman of the Pickwick Club
председатель Пиквикского клуба
an account of one’s journeys
отчет о чьих-либо путешествиях
the humour of the book
юмор книги
to consist chiefly in smth.
состоять в основном в чем-либо
to get oneself into awkward situations
попадать в глупые ситуации
the greatest comic figure
величайшая комическая фигура

Answer the questions:

  1. What is the chief cause of Dickens’s popularity?
  2. What is the story of publishing «Pickwick’s Papers»?
  3. What is the book about?
  4. What does the humour of the book consist in?
  5. Why is Mr. Pickwick the greatest comic figure in English literature?

Translate into English:

  1. Главная причина популярности Чарльза Диккенса в том, что он с терпимостью относится к людям.
  2. Книги этого знаменитого писателя-романиста читают все - образованные и необразованные, богатые и бедные.
  3. Когда были опубликованы «Записки Пиквикского клуба», Диккенс в одно мгновение стал самым популярным писателем того времени.
  4. Одна издательская фирма предложила Диккенсу написать тексты к комическим картинкам.
  5. Работа пришлась Диккенсу по сердцу, и он принял предложение.
  6. Популярность первых частей «Пиквикского клуба» была так велика, что часть 15 была напечатана в 40 000 экземплярах.
  7. Мистер Пиквик, простодушный и добрый пожилой джентльмен, был председателем Пиквикского клуба.
  8. Мистер Пиквик и его друзья посылали в Пиквикский клуб отчеты о своих путешествиях и ситуациях, в которые они попадали.
  9. Мы любим Пиквика, хотя и смеемся над ним.