Phiz [Hablot Browne]
Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand
he idea for Pickwick was brought to Chapman and Hall in fall 1835 by Seymour, whose concept was for a group of illustrated anecdotes making fun of newly rich gentlemen wanting to up their place in society by participating in such country sporting activities as hunting, fishing, and shooting. It was to be based on his popular five-volume series, Sketches by Seymour. The publishers approached young Dickens to see if he would supply the letterpress. He accepted, but made clear that he would not write the hack text as proposed, but stories to be illustrated. Thus, the order of the creative process was reversed: the author would tell the story, the artist would provide the illustrations. As might be anticipated, the relationship between artist and author quickly deteriorated. In April 1836, after Seymour had illustrated the first two installments of Pickwick, and only days after arguing with Dickens over his latest illustration, Seymour shot himself.
Source: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With forty-three illustrations, by R. Seymour and Phiz.
From the collection of Josephine Lea Iselin.