Portsmouth, New Hampshire Brings Life to Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers

Within the community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire there is the Pickwick Family, based off of The Pickwick Papers written by Charles Dickens, his first novel turned into a serial, which is published in smaller, sequential stories similar to a comic book.

The stories appeal is formed by its many memorable characters. Each character as in other Dickens novels, is drawn comically, often with exaggerated personality traits.Through humor, Dickens is able to capture quintessential aspects of English life in the mid-nineteenth century. They were able to see themselves, and could accept themselves because of Dickens’s skillful use of satire.

There are 5 main attractions in town loosely based off of The Pickwick Papers. Fezziwigs Food & Fountain, Deadwick’s Ethereal¬†Emporium, Pickwicks’ Mercantile, Lady Pickwick’s and Pickwicks at Strawberry Banke. Fezziwigs is a cafe and coffee bar, Pickwick’s mercantile is a gift shop selling handmade goods, jewelry and other trinkets. Lady Pickwick’s sells women’s clothing and lingerie. Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium is also a gift shop but sells trinkets pertaining to the dark arts while also offering astrological readings. Lastly, Pickwicks at Strawberry Banke hosts events such as Candelight Stroll Weekends and festivals with live music and local vendors.

The charm of the Pickwicks theme is not only in the design of the shops but also in the employees who dress in formal, mid-nineteenth century english attire and use character names given to them. They use role-playing to bring life to Charles Dicken’s vision and the stories told in the Pickwick Papers.

It’s a town definitely worth checking out especially if you enjoy places built around fun themes.