The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle  
Peregrine Pickle 1st edition.png
First edition title page
Author(s) Tobias Smollett
Country Great Britain
Language English
Genre(s) novel
Publication date 1751
Media type Print

The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle is a picaresque novel by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett (1721 – 1771), first published in 1751, and revised and reissued in 1758. It is the story of the fortunes and misfortunes of the egotistical dandy Peregrine Pickle, and it provides a comic and caustic portrayal of 18th century European society.

Plot summary

At the beginning of the novel Peregrine is a young country gentleman. Rejected by his cruel mother, ignored by his indifferent father and hated by his degenerate brother, he is raised by Commodore Hawser Trunnion who is greatly attached to the boy. Peregrine's upbringing, education at Oxford, journey to France, his debauchery, bankruptcy, jailing at the Fleet, unexpected succeeding to the fortune of his father, his final repentance and marriage to his beloved Emilia all provide scope for Smollett's satire on human cruelty, stupidity and greed. The novel is written as a series of adventures, with every chapter typically describing a new adventure. There is also a very long independent story, "The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality", inside the novel.

Peregrine Pickle features several amusing characters, most notably Commodore Hawser Trunnion, an old seaman and misogynist who lives in a "garrison" of a house with his former shipmates. Possibly, Trunnion's lifestyle helped Dickens to create Wemmick of Great Expectations.[citation needed] Another interesting character is Cadwallader Crabtree, an old misanthrope and Peregrine's friend, who amuses himself by playing ingenious jokes on the naive and gullible human creatures.

Smollett also caricatured many of his enemies in the novel, most notably Henry Fielding and the actor David Garrick. Fitzroy Henry Lee was supposedly the model for Hawser Trunnion.[1]


  1. ^ J. K. Laughton, ‘Lee, Fitzroy Henry (1699–1750)’, rev. Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

External links

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