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.


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Last modified 20 Febuary 2000