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The Pickwick Papers

The first novel by Charles Dickens. It was originally an idea by Robert Seymour the illustrator, which Dickens was asked to contribute to as an up and coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1832. Dickens, overconfident as ever, increasingly took over the unsuccesful monthly publication and Seymour committed suicide. With the introduction of Sam Weller the book became the first real publishing phenomena with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books and other merchandise.