[PICKWICK PAPERS]. -- [PENN, Richard]. Maxims and Hints for an Angler, and Miseries of Fishing. Illustrated by Drawings on Stone. To which are Added Maxims and Hints for a Chess Player. London: John Murray, 1833.
8o (172 x 107 mm). 12 lithographic plates on India paper inlaid on heavy stock, and 3 wood engravings by Robert Seymour. 19th-century polished calf gilt, spine with gilt lettered morocco label. Provenance: Edward Turner McGowan (bookplate); Comte Alain de Suzannet (bookplate, his sale Sotheby's London, 22 November 1971, lot 152); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
"IT IS PROBABLY FAIR TO SURMISE THAT HAD NOT [SEYMOUR] COMMUNICATED TO EDWARD CHAPMAN HIS IDEA OF PUBLISHING A SERIES OF COCKNEY SPORTING SKETCHES, PICKWICK WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN WRITTEN" Kitton
FIRST EDITION including two images which feature an instantly recogniseable rotund, balding, bespectacled figure familiar to all Dickens's readers as Mr. Pickwick. By 1833 Seymour was justly famous for his illustrations depicting amateur sporstmen ineptly engaged in hunting and fishing, and other early works with his illustrations include similar Pickwickian characters: The Heiress, 1830 and The Book of Christmas, 1835-1836. It was Seymour who proposed to Edward Chapman of Chapman and Hall a project depicting the activities of an amateur sporting club. After seeing four of Seymour's illustrations Chapman agreed to publish in monthly parts (with wrappers designed by Seymour) and sought a writer to provide copy for Seymour's illustrations. "After being turned down by William Clarke, they approached Dickens, who agreed to the proposal but broadened the subject matter from its sporting emphasis... By the second number, he had, in "The Stroller's Tale" of the dying clown, introduced subject matter far afield from Seymour's original conception, a subject that was especially troubling to Seymour who suffered from periodic bouts of depression. Dickens insisted that Seymour's first version of the plate illustrating the tale be withdrawn" (Davis). Before the second part had been completed, on 20 April 1836, Seymour shot himself with a fowling piece in the summer house to the rear of his home in Liverpool Road, Islington. (DNB). Davis, p. 350.