Charles Dickens and the Illustrations
When Chapman & Hall published the first illustrated monthly part of The Pickwick Papers in 1836, this was the most common method of publishing popular fiction. At a time when a significant percentage of the population was semi-literate, stories were picture-driven, so the practice of the day was to produce the illustrations, and then to commission a writer to fashion a story to fit the pictures.
It is testament to the young Charles Dickens' burgeoning talent and status, that in his case he only agreed to provide the text to Robert Seymour’s original illustrations for what was to become The Pickwick Papers if this process was reversed, and the illustrator provided pictures to accompany his own narrative.
From that moment, a series of relationships were developed between Dickens and some of the finest illustrators of the day, including Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), George Cruikshank and John Leech
Dickens Prints has been designed to detail and to celebrate the evocative illustrations of these men.