Social and Economic Forces Influencing Pickwick's Mass Readership

The financial and critical success of Pickwick Papers, like its creation of an enormous mass audience, would not have been possible without newly invented aspects of print technology, including paper-making machines and high-speed presses. Nontheless, as Robert L. Patten and Richard D. Altick point out, a number of other factors also enabled this work virtually to invent the Victorian audience and the forms of fiction it read. These include


Altick, Richard D. . The English Common Reader.

Patten, Robert L. Charles Dickens and His Publishers. Oxford: Clarendon Press: 1978.

Last modified December 2003