Louisa May Alcott

American Author

"As all of the girls admired Dickens, they called themselves the Pickwick Club...and met every Saturday evening in the big garret, on which occasion the ceremonies were as follows:

"Three chairs were arranged in a row before a table on which was a lamp, also four white badges, with a big 'P.C.' in different colors on each, and the weekly newspaper called 'The Pickwick Portfolio,' to which all contributed something; while Jo, who reveled in pens and ink, was the editor.

"At seven o'clock, the four members ascended to the club-room, tied their badges round their heads, and took their seats with great solemnity. Meg, as the eldest, was Samuel Pickwick; Jo, being a literary turn, Augustus Snodgrass; Beth, because she was round and rosy, Tracy Tupman; and Amy, who was always trying to do what she couldn't, was Nathaniel Winkle. Pickwick, the president, read the paper, which was filled with original tales, poetry, local news, funny advertisements, and hints, in which they good-naturedly reminded each other of their faults and short-comings.

"On one occasion, Mr. Pickwick put on a pair of spectacles without any glasses, rapped upon the table, hemmed, and having stared hard at Mr. Snodgrass, who was tilting back in his chair, till he arranged himself properly, began to read..."

After moving to Boston in 1848, the Alcott children instituted yet another family entertainment, a secret club named The Pickwick Club in honor of their favorite author, Charles Dickens, and his popular novel, The Pickwick Papers. The above excerpt is taken from L. M. Alcott's largely autobiographical novel, Little Women, in which the charming account of a Pickwick Club meeting is relayed. See William Anderson's, The World of Louisa May Alcott.

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