The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2030

Mr. Samuel Pickwick

Mr. Samuel Pickwick, the stout, amiable founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. An observer of human nature, a lover of good food and drink, and a boon companion, he spends his time traveling about the countryside with his friends, accepting invitations from local squires and dignitaries, pursuing Mr. Alfred Jingle in an effort to thwart that rascal’s schemes, and promoting his friends’ romances. The height of his development occurs at the Fleet Prison where, because of a breach-of-promise suit, he observes human suffering and learns to forgive his enemies. A rather pompously bustling and fatuous person at first, he grows in the course of events to be a truly monumental character.

Mr. Nathaniel Winkle

Mr. Nathaniel Winkle, the sportsman of the group. Inept and humane, he finds himself involved in hunting misadventures, romances, and duels. In the end, he wins Arabella Allen, his true love, over the objections of her brother, her suitor, and his own father.

Mr. Augustus Snodgrass

Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, the poetic member of the Pickwick Club. Although he keeps extensive notes, he never writes verses. Eventually he gains his sweetheart, Emily Wardle, after several visits to Manor Farm.

Mr. Tracy Tupman

Mr. Tracy Tupman, a rotund member of the Pickwick Club, so susceptible that he is constantly falling in and out of love. Longing for romance, he finds himself thwarted at every turn. His flirtation with Miss Rachel Wardle ends dismally when she elopes with Mr. Alfred Jingle.

Mr. Wardle

Mr. Wardle, the owner of Manor Farm, Dingley Dell, the robust, genial, but sometimes hot-tempered host of the four Pickwickians. A patriarch, he rescues his sister from Mr. Jingle at the cost of one hundred and twenty pounds, and he objects at first to his daughter’s romance with Mr. Snodgrass. Finally, he gives the young couple his blessing.

Miss Rachel Wardle

Miss Rachel Wardle, a woman of uncertain age. She flirts coyly with the susceptible Mr. Tupman but abandons him for the blandishments of Mr. Jingle, who has designs on her supposed wealth. Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Wardle pursue the elopers, Mr. Wardle buys off the rascal, and Miss Wardle returns husbandless to Manor Farm.

Mrs. Wardle

Mrs. Wardle, the aged, deaf mother of Mr. Wardle and Miss Rachel.

Emily Wardle

Emily Wardle, Mr. Wardle’s vivacious daughter, in love with Mr. Snodgrass, whom she eventually marries.

Isabella Wardle

Isabella Wardle, another daughter. She marries Mr. Trundle.

Mr. Trundle

Mr. Trundle, Isabella Wardle’s suitor. Though frequently on the scene, he remains a minor figure in the novel.


Joe, Mr. Wardle’s fat, sleepy young servant. He is characterized by his ability to go to sleep at any time and under almost any circumstances, a trait that both amuses and irritates his master.

Mrs. Martha Bardell

Mrs. Martha Bardell, Mr. Pickwick’s landlady. When he consults her as to the advisability of taking a servant, she mistakes his remarks for a proposal of marriage and accepts him, much to Mr. Pickwick’s dismay. The misunderstanding leads to the breach-of-promise suit. Mr. Pickwick, refusing to pay damages, is sent to the Fleet Prison. After his refusal to pay, Mrs. Bardell’s attorneys, unable to collect their fee, have her arrested and also sent to the Fleet Prison. Her plight finally arouses Mr. Pickwick’s pity, and he pays the damages in order to release her and to free himself to aid his friend Mr. Winkle, who has eloped with Arabella Allen.

Tommy Bardell

Tommy Bardell, Mrs. Bardell’s young son.

Serjeant Buzfuz

Serjeant Buzfuz, Mrs. Bardell’s counsel at the trial, a bombastic man noted for his bullying tactics with witnesses.

Mr. Skimpin

Mr. Skimpin, the assistant counsel to Serjeant Buzfuz.

Mr. Dodson

Mr. Dodson and

Mr. Fogg

Mr. Fogg, Mrs. Bardell’s unscrupulous attorneys. Having taken the suit without fee, they have their client arrested and sent to prison when Mr. Pickwick refuses to pay damages after the suit has been decided against him.

Mr. Alfred Jingle

Mr. Alfred Jingle, an amiable, impudent strolling player remarkable for his constant flow of disjointed sentences. He makes several attempts to marry women for their money, but Mr. Pickwick thwarts his plans in every case. He ends up in the Fleet Prison, from which he is rescued by Mr. Pickwick’s generosity. He keeps his promise to reform.

Job Trotter

Job Trotter, Mr. Jingle’s cunning accomplice and servant. He is the only person whose wits prove sharper than those of Sam Weller.

Jem Huntley

Jem Huntley, a melancholy actor called Dismal Jemmy, Mr. Jingle’s friend and Job Trotter’s brother.

Sam Weller

Sam Weller, Mr. Pickwick’s jaunty, quick-witted, devoted Cockney servant. He and Mr. Pickwick meet at the inn to which Mr. Wardle has traced his sister and Mr. Jingle. Sam’s aphorisms, anecdotes, and exploits make him one of Dickens’ great comic creations, the embodiment of Cockney life and character.

Tony Weller

Tony Weller, Sam Weller’s hardy, affable father, a coachman who loves food, drink, and tobacco and wants nothing from his shrewish wife except the opportunity to enjoy them.

Mrs. Susan Weller

Mrs. Susan Weller, formerly Mrs. Clarke, a shrew, a hypocrite, and a religious fanatic. At her death, her husband inherits a small estate she has hoarded.

The Reverend Mr. Stiggins

The Reverend Mr. Stiggins, called the Shepherd, a canting, hypocritical, alcoholic clergyman, greatly admired by Mrs. Weller, who gives him every opportunity to sponge off her husband.

Arabella Allen

Arabella Allen, a lovely young woman whom Mr. Winkle first meets at Manor Farm. Her brother, Benjamin Allen, wants his sister to marry his friend Bob Sawyer, but Arabella rejects her brother’s choice. After she marries Mr. Winkle in secret, Mr. Pickwick pays his friend’s debts, effects a reconciliation between the young couple and Arabella’s brother, and breaks the news of the marriage to Mr. Winkle’s father.

Benjamin Allen

Benjamin Allen, Arabella’s coarse, roistering brother, a medical student. With no regard for his sister’s feelings, he stubbornly insists upon her marriage to Bob Sawyer.

Mr. Winkle (Senior)

Mr. Winkle (Senior), a practical man of business, much opposed to his son’s romance with Arabella Allen. He changes his mind when, through the services of Mr. Pickwick, he meets his daughter-in-law. He builds the couple a new house and makes his son an assistant in the family business.

Bob Sawyer

Bob Sawyer, Benjamin Allen’s friend and Arabella’s unwelcome, oafish suitor. He hangs up his shingle in Bristol and practices medicine there. Eventually, he and Benjamin Allen take service with the East India Company.

Bob Cripps

Bob Cripps, Bob Sawyer’s servant.

Mrs. Mary Ann Raddle

Mrs. Mary Ann Raddle, Bob Sawyer’s landlady.

Mr. Raddle

Mr. Raddle, her husband.

Mrs. Betsey Cluppins

Mrs. Betsey Cluppins, Mrs. Raddle’s sister and a friend of Mrs. Bardell.

Mr. Gunter

Mr. Gunter, a friend of Bob Sawyer.

Jack Hopkins

Jack Hopkins, a medical student, Bob Sawyer’s friend. He tells Mr. Pickwick the story of a child who swallowed a necklace of large wooden beads that rattled and clacked whenever the child moved.

Peter Magnus

Peter Magnus, a traveler who journeys with Mr. Pickwick from London to Ipswich. He is on his way to make a proposal of marriage.

Miss Witherfield

Miss Witherfield, his beloved, into whose room Mr. Pickwick, unable to find his own, accidentally blunders at the inn in Ipswich.

The Honorable Samuel Slumkey

The Honorable Samuel Slumkey, a candidate for Parliament from the borough of Eatanswill. He is victorious over his opponent, Horatio Fizkin, Esq.

Mr. Slurk

Mr. Slurk, the editor of The Eatanswill Independent.

Mr. Pott

Mr. Pott, the editor of The Eatanswill Gazette.

Mrs. Pott

Mrs. Pott, his wife.

Mrs. Leo Hunter

Mrs. Leo Hunter, a lady of literary pretensions, the author of “Ode to an Expiring Frog,” whom Mr. Pickwick meets in Eatanswill.

Mr. Leo Hunter

Mr. Leo Hunter, who lives in his wife’s reflected glory.

Count Smorltork

Count Smorltork, a traveling nobleman whom Mr. Pickwick meets at a breakfast given by Mrs. Leo Hunter.

Horatio Fizkin, Esq.

Horatio Fizkin, Esq., defeated in the election at Eatanswill.

Mr. Perker

Mr. Perker, the agent for the Honorable Samuel Slumkey in the Eatanswill election, later Mr. Pickwick’s attorney in the suit. After his client has been sentenced to prison, Perker advises him to pay the damages in order to gain his freedom.

Serjeant Snubbin

Serjeant Snubbin, Mr. Pickwick’s lantern-faced, dull-eyed senior counsel in the breach-of-promise suit.

Mr. Justice Starleigh

Mr. Justice Starleigh, the judge who presides at the trial.

Mr. Phunky

Mr. Phunky, the assistant counsel to Serjeant Snubbin; he is called an “infant barrister” because he has seen only eight years at the bar.

Thomas Groffin

Thomas Groffin, a chemist, and

Richard Upwitch

Richard Upwitch, a grocer, jurors at the trial.

Mr. Jackson

Mr. Jackson and

Mr. Wicks

Mr. Wicks, clerks in the office of Dodson and Fogg.

Mr. Lowten

Mr. Lowten, clerk to Mr. Perker.

Captain Boldwig

Captain Boldwig, a peppery-tempered landowner on whose grounds the Pickwickians accidentally trespass while hunting.

Dr. Slammer

Dr. Slammer, the surgeon of the 97th Regiment. At a charity ball in Rochester, he challenges Mr. Jingle to a duel; because Jingle is wearing a borrowed coat, Mr. Winkle is the one actually called upon to meet the hot-tempered surgeon. Mr. Winkle, having been drunk, cannot remember what his conduct was or whom he might have insulted the night before. The situation is eventually resolved, and Mr. Winkle and the doctor shake hands and part on friendly terms.

Lieutenant Tappleton

Lieutenant Tappleton, Dr. Slammer’s second.

Colonel Bulder

Colonel Bulder, the commanding officer of the military garrison at Rochester.

Mrs. Bulder

Mrs. Bulder, his wife.

Miss Bulder

Miss Bulder, their daughter.

Mrs. Budger

Mrs. Budger, a widow, Mr. Tupman’s partner at the charity ball in Rochester.

Mr. Dowler

Mr. Dowler, a blustering, cowardly ex-army officer whom Mr. Pickwick meets at the White Horse Cellar. The Dowlers travel with Mr. Pickwick to Bath.

Mrs. Dowler

Mrs. Dowler, his wife.

Lord Mutanhed

Lord Mutanhed, a man of fashion and Mr. Dowling’s friend, whom Mr. Pickwick meets in Bath.

The Honorable Mr. Crushton

The Honorable Mr. Crushton, another friend of Mr. Dowler.

Angelo Cyrus Bantam, Esq.

Angelo Cyrus Bantam, Esq., a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Dowling and a master of ceremonies at Bath.

George Nupkins, Esq.

George Nupkins, Esq., the mayor of Ipswich, before whom Mr. Pickwick is brought on the charge, made by Miss Witherfield, that he is planning to fight a duel. The mayor has recently entertained Mr. Jingle, who, calling himself Captain Fitz-Marshall, was courting Miss Henrietta Nupkins.

Mrs. Nupkins

Mrs. Nupkins, the mayor’s wife.

Henrietta Nupkins

Henrietta Nupkins, their daughter, the object of one of Mr. Jingle’s matrimonial designs.


Mary, Mrs. Nupkins’ pretty young servant. She eventually marries Sam Weller, and both make their home with Mr. Pickwick in his happy, unadventurous old age.

Mr. Jinks

Mr. Jinks, the clerk of the mayor’s court at Ipswich.

Daniel Grummer

Daniel Grummer, the constable of the mayor’s court at Ipswich.

Frank Simmery, Esq.

Frank Simmery, Esq., a young stockbroker.

Solomon Pell

Solomon Pell, an attorney who, to his profit, assists in settling the deceased Mrs. Weller’s modest estate.

Miss Tomkins

Miss Tomkins, mistress of Westgate House, a boarding school for young ladies, at Bury St. Edmunds. Mr. Pickwick, tricked into believing that Mr. Jingle is planning to elope with one of the pupils, ventures into the school premises at night and finds himself in an embarrassing situation.

Tom Roker

Tom Roker, a turnkey at the Fleet Prison.




Mivins, called The Zephyr,




Simpson, and

The Chancery Prisoner

The Chancery Prisoner, inmates of the Fleet Prison during Mr. Pickwick’s detention.

Mrs. Budkin

Mrs. Budkin,

Susannah Sanders

Susannah Sanders,

Mrs. Mudberry

Mrs. Mudberry, and

Mrs. Rogers

Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Bardell’s friends and neighbors.

Anthony Humm

Anthony Humm, chairman of the Brick Lane Branch of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association. Mr. Weller takes his son Sam to a lively meeting of the association.

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Chapter Summaries


Critical Essays