We start off with the trail of Pickwick vs. Bardell. A travesty of justice to be sure. Mr. Pickwick refuses to pay the fine and travels down to Bath to avoid the law. Bath of course being where all fashionable people have gone at least since Jane Austen's time. We also get the real story of the founding of Bath.
Thinking about Jane Austen while reading the Bath chapters, it seemed high time to try to place Dickens within the timeline of other authors I've read. I admire and like the film Citizen Kane quite a bit and I know part of the reason is that I know how important it was in film history because of the innovations in cinematography it brought. So I thought maybe if I placed Dickens in history I would appreciate him more and stop wishing I was reading Balzac or Twain.
This didn't work. He was a contemporary of Balzac who published two of his big novels before Pickwick Papers came out. He was influenced by Fielding and Sterne. I prefer both over Dickens. I am not disliking the book. I think it is good that I'm reading it in small bits but I like it. I think I'm just failing to see why Dickens is considered a literary giant. Well except for that whole inventing modern Christmas thing.