Robert Patten contends that Chapman and Hall's decision to reduce the ratio of illustrations to pages of letter-press from 4:32 to 2:32 in the Pickwick instalments freed Dickens from his original role of commentator on Seymour's illustrations, reversing in fact the importance of writer and artist, and concomitantly the stipend paid to each:

At a single stroke something permanent and novel-- like. . . was created out of something ephemeral and episodic: with sixteen pages between pictures, Dickens could expand his scenes and amplify his characterizations in ways he could not when he had to invent a new comic climax every six pages. (65)

However, that there were seventeen separate illustrations in the 188 pages of The Haunted Man (a ratio of approximately 1:12) seems not to have restricted Dickens, possibly because he was (as his correspondence makes clear) in the position to control what appeared in the pictorial portion of the narrative.

Charles Dickens

Last modified 20 Febuary 2000