The sales of the first three monthly instalments of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club were so low at less than one thousand a month that the his publishers were tempted to abandon the venture. Dickens was to seize control of the project and after a series of false starts engaged a 20 year-old Hablot Knight Browne as illustrator.
|Courtyard of the White Hart Inn|
(Scanned image by Phillip V Allingham; source:http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/phiz/pickwick/12.html)
Mr Pickwick, on the right, strokes his chin while the legalistic Mr Perker, second left, checks the work by the Cockney boot boy.
When Boz (Dickens) and Phiz (Browne) introduced Sam Weller polishing boots in the courtyard of the galleried White Hart Inn sales rose from 20,000 a month by the end of the year and later in 1837 to an unheard of 40,000. Charles John Huffam Dickens had been transformed into a best selling author thanks to Sam.
If boots are made for walking, now it's time for you to walk over to sepia-saturday-145