1st Edition

Robert Seymour and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture Sketches by Seymour and Comic Illustration

By Brian Maidment Copyright 2021
    204 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Robert Seymour and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture is the first book-length study of the original illustrator of Dickens’s Pickwick Papers. Discussion of the range and importance of Seymour’s work as a jobbing illustrator in the 1820s and 1830s is at the centre of the book. A bibliographical study of his prolific output of illustrations in many different print genres is combined with a wide-ranging account of his major publications. Seymour’s extended work for The Comic Magazine, New Readings of Old Authors and Humorous Sketches, all described in detail, are of particular importance in locating the dialogue between image and text at the moment when the Victorian illustrated novel was coming into being.

    List of Illustrations




    Chapter 1. Getting to Know Seymour.

    Chapter 2. Seymour and the Publishers.

    Chapter 3. Social Satires - The March of Intellect and other social transformations.

    Chapter 4. The Comic Magazine 1832-1834.

    Chapter 5. New Readings of Old Authors.

    Chapter 6. The Humorous Sketches and their Victorian Afterlife.

    Chapter 7. Coda - Reading Pickwick Through Seymour.

    Appendix 1 – A chronological listing of Seymour’s published illustrative work.

    Appendix 2 - A list of editions of Seymour’s Humorous Sketches.



    Brian Maidment is Emeritus Professor of the History of Print in the English Department at Liverpool John Moores University and an ex-president of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. His books include The Poorhouse Fugitives (1987), Reading Popular Prints (1996), Dusty Bob: A Cultural History of Dustmen (2007) and Comedy, Caricature and the Social Order 18201850 (2013). He is currently completing a book on magazine illustration between 1820 and 1840.

    "Maidment’s book is not only a text which broadens our understanding of an important nineteenth-century illustrator, but a study of how the late eighteenth- century and early-nineteenth century printing industry developed[…] this work would be of particular interest to researchers in this field, and its highly readable form would make it accessible also to a non-scholarly audience."

    --Jessica Thomas, Early Popular Visual Culture


    "Maidment continues a two decade long exegesis of the ways Seymour also depicted the struggles of London’s growing population to make sense of a dramatically transformed world. He is unmatched in his ability to ferret out long ignored popular books and periodicals displaying Seymour’s talent[…] seriously and importantly relevant to any reconsideration of Dickens’s work through the 1830s and 1840s."

    --Robert Patten, The Dickensian