Friends of the Dickens Forum,
Stephen Jarvis <[log in to unmask]> is interested in
the prevalence of "writing up" texts to support the work of visual
artists. How much was the Dickens-Seymour collaboration the norm?
I am trying to discover just how prevalent was the practice of
"writing up" - whereby a hack writer was hired to produce copy to
accompany the designs of an eminent artist - at around the time of
_Pickwick Papers_. The one clear-cut example known to me is the
Combe-Rowlandson collaboration, which produced the likes of Dr Syntax
in 1809, many years before Pickwick. _Life in London_, by Pierce
Egan and the Cruikshank brothers is sometimes cited as another
example - but Egan would seem to have played a far more significant
role in the creation of this work than merely being the Cruikshanks'
dummy. After that, the examples seem to be rather sparse and
unspecific - with, say, the work of hacks on illustrated annuals
sometimes being mentioned. And yet, many standard accounts of the
origin of _Pickwick_ seem to imply that writing-up was the industry
norm, with rewards and prestige tending to go to the artist - a
norm which Dickens in his dealings with Seymour supposedly
singlehandedly overturned. Is this standard account correct, or a
I hope someone can help.