Martin Chuzzlewit

Charles Dickens

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (commonly known as Martin Chuzzlewit) is a novel by Charles Dickens, considered the last of his picaresque novels. It was originally serialised between 1842 and 1844. While he was writing it Dickens told a friend that he thought it was his best work, but it was one of his least popular novels. The late nineteenth century English novelist George Gissing read the novel in February 1888 "for refreshment" but felt that it showed "incomprehensible weakness of story". Like nearly all of Dickens's novels, Martin Chuzzlewit was first published in monthly instalments. Early sales of the monthly parts were disappointing, compared to previous works, so Dickens changed the plot to send the title character to the United States. This allowed the author to portray the United States, which he had visited in 1842, satirically, as a near-wilderness with pockets of civilisation filled with deceitful and self-promoting hucksters.