decorated initial As David Perdue and others, including J. A. Hammerton and F. G. Kitton, have noted, the most unusual aspect of the Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club illustrations is that they had an independent life of their own, as a project developed by young publisher William Hall and assigned to veteran illustrator Robert Seymour, before becoming adjuncts to a serial novel. Moreover, the first monthly part (April 1836) contained not two but four full-page etchings. After completing just seven of what were supposed to be the first of a series of "Cockney sporting" illustrations for only the first and second monthly instalments, on 20 April 1836 Seymour committed suicide, shooting himself in his back garden, supposedly distressed that Dickens, at 24 a mere youngster, had assumed the director's role in the project.

Dickens's search for a new illustrator led him first to Robert W. Buss, but his engravings for the third monthly instalment ("The Fat Boy Awake on this Occasion Only" and "The Cricket Match") did not please either the author or his publishers, who then hired Hablot Knight Browne (who originally signed his work as "Nemo," Latin for "Nobody," but who subsequently adopted the pseudonym "Phiz," by which sobriquet he is still popularly known), not yet twenty-one. Upon the conclusion of the serial run in 1837, Phiz redrafted and etched a new set of plates, "much superior to those issued in the monthly parts, and partly with the original illustrations" (Hammerton 86) by his own hand, creating a more uniform effect in the work's illustrations by eliminating entirely the plates by Seymour and Buss. From the tenth monthly number (January 1837) onward Phiz provided duplicate steels to allow for the increased wear occasioned by the enormous jump in circulation that occurred after the introduction of Sam Weller.

  • 1. Frontispiece, "Mr. Pickwick Addresses the Club" by Robert Seymour (ch. 1), April 1836
  • 2. Frontispiece, by Phiz [Pickwick and Sam Weller] 1837
  • 3. "The Pugnacious Cabman" by Robert Seymour (ch. 2), April 1836
  • 4. "The Sagacious Dog" by Robert Seymour (ch. 2), April 1836
  • 5. "Dr. Slammer's Defiance of Jingle" by Robert Seymour (ch. 2), April 1836
  • 6. "The Dying Clown" by Robert Seymour (ch. 3), May 1836
  • 7. "Mr. Pickwick in Chase of his Hat" by Robert Seymour (ch. 4), May 1836
  • 8. "Mr. Winkle Soothes the Refractory Steed" by Robert Seymour (ch. 5), May 1836
  • 9. "The Fat Boy Awake Again" by Phiz (ch. 8), June 1836
  • 10. "Wardle and his Friends Under the Influence of the Salmon" by Phiz (ch. 8) June 1836
  • 11. "The Break-Down" by Phiz (ch. 9) July 1836
  • 12. "First Appearance of Mr. Samuel Weller" by Phiz (ch. 10) July 1836
  • 13. "Mrs. Bardell Faints in Mr. Pickwick's Arms" by Phiz (ch. 12) August 1836
  • 14. "The Election at Eatanswill" by Phiz (ch.13) August 1836
  • 15. "Mrs. Lee Hunter's Fancy-Dress Dejeuner" by Phiz (ch.15) September 1836
  • 16. "The Unexpected 'Breaking-Up' of The Seminary for Young Ladies" by Phiz (ch.16) September 1836
  • Mr. Pickwick in the Pound
  • 17. "Mr. Pickwick in the Pound" by Phiz (ch.19) October 1836
  • 18. "Mr. Pickwick and Sam in the Attorney's Office" by Phiz (ch. 20) October 1836
  • 19. "The Last Visit of Heyling to the Old Man" by Phiz (ch. 21) November 1836
  • 20. "The Middle-Aged Lady in the Double-Bedded Room" by Phiz (ch. 22) November 1836
  • 21. "Mr. Weller Attacks the Executive of Ipswich" by Phiz (ch. 24) December 1836
  • 22. "Job Trotter Encounters Sam in Mr. Muzzle's Kitchen" by Phiz (ch. 25) December 1836
  • 23. "Christmas Eve at Mr. Wardle's" by Phiz (ch. 28) January 1837
  • 24. "The Goblin and the Sexton" by Phiz (ch. 29) January 1837 with links to 3 preparatory plates
  • 25. "Mr. Pickwick Slides" by Phiz (ch. 30) February 1837
  • 26. "The first Interview with Mr. Serjeant Snubbin" by Phiz (ch. 31) February 1837
  • 27. "The Valentine" by Phiz (ch. 33) March 1837
  • 28. "The Trial" by Phiz (ch. 34) March 1837
  • 29. "The Card-room at Bath" by Phiz (ch. 35) April 1837
  • 30. "Mr. Winkle's Situation when the Door 'blew-to'" by Phiz (ch. 36) April 1837
  • 1title1
  • 31. "Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's" by Phiz (ch. 38) May 1837
  • 32. "Mr. Pickwick sits for his Portrait" by Phiz (ch. 40) May 1837
  • 33. "The Warden's Room" by Phiz (ch. 41) July 1837
  • 34. "Discovery of Jingle in the Fleet" by Phiz (ch. 42) July 1837
  • 35. "The Red-nosed Man discourseth" by Phiz (ch. 45) August 1837
  • 36. "Mrs. Bardell encounters Mr. Pickwick in the Prison" by Phiz (ch. 46) August 1837
  • 37. "Mr. Winkle Returns under extraordinary Circumstances" by Phiz (ch. 47) September 1837
  • 38. "The ghostly Passengers in the Ghost of a Mail" by Phiz (ch. 49) September 1837
  • 39. "Mr. Bob Sawyer's Mode of Travelling" by Phiz (ch. 50) October 1837
  • 40. "The Rival Editors" by Phiz (ch. 51) October 1837
  • 41. "Tony Weller ejects Mr. Stiggins" by Phiz (ch. 52) November 1837
  • 1title1
  • 42. "Mary and the Fat Boy" by Phiz (ch. 54) November 1837
  • 43. "Mr. Weller and his Friends Drinking to Mr. Pell" by Phiz (ch. 55) November 1837
  • Illustrators of Pickwick Papers in the 1873 Household Edition


    Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Checkmark and Facts On File, 1999.

    Hammerton, J. A. The Dickens Picture-Book. London: Educational Book Co., 1910.

    Lester, Valerie Browne. Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens. London: Chatto and Windus, 2004.

    Steig, Michael. Dickens and Phiz. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.

    Last modified 28 January 2012