Friends of the Dickens Forum

    Here is word from Phiz's son reaching back to early *Pickwick* days.  it
is Valerie Lester <[log in to unmask]> who is our source:  (pjm)
Dear Friends of the Dickens Forum,

Here’s another little story about the first appearance of Sam Weller. Edgar 
Browne, Phiz’s son, writes in his book, Phiz and Dickens: “Some years ago, 
one pouring wet day, I took refuge in a little curiosity shop near Leicester 
Square. The proprietor, partly to pass the time, and partly to magnify himself 
a little, told me that he was a kind of literary character having stitched the 
first numbers of Pickwick, which he considered a failure, till the fourth 
number; then the sales went up with such a bound that he had to employ hands 
to carry out his contract. ‘It was Sam Weller that did it,’ he said; then 
after a pause, ‘and the illustrations.’”

So, Phiz and Sam Weller burst on the scene together in Part IV — and together 
they caught the public’s fancy.

Valerie Browne Lester