Sam Weller and His Father

Harold Copping


Colour lithography

Approximately 7 x 5 inches (18.2 x 13 cm)

From Character Sketches from Dickens, facing p. 28.

The comic genius of Charles Dickens has no better exhibit in his early writings that the twin creations of the cockney father and son, Tony and Sam Weller, the former a jolly coachman, the latter the quick-witted, smart-tongued boots (bootblack) of the White Hart Inn, introduced in Part 5 (August 1836), ch. 12. However, not until Part 8 (November 1836), ch. 22, does Dickens introduce us to Tony Weller, when Sam and Mr. Pickwick (the modern Sancho Panza and Don Quixote) go in search of Mr. Jingle, travelling to Ipswich in Tony's coach. The scene in the inn's courtyard which Matz realizes occurs at the very beginning of that twenty-second chapter.