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Original drawing for illustration ch.3 Pickwick Papers - The Dying Clown



Object number (per part)

DH340, 1971.1.145

Object name (per part)


Production person

Seymour, Robert

Production date



Preliminary sketch of 'The Dying Clown' by Robert Seymour for The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 3, 1836.

Content warning: Discussion of suicide

Robert Seymour was working on this illustration for The Pickwick Papers at the time of his death. On 14 April, Seymour received a letter from Dickens ‘to congratulate you, the publishers, and myself, on the success of the undertaking’ and request changes to his etching of ‘The Dying Clown’ for the forthcoming issue. Sadly six days later, Seymour took his own life, leaving a letter to his wife asking her not to blame anyone, as ‘it is my own weakness and infirmity. I don’t think anyone has been a malicious enemy to me… I hope my Creator will grant me peace, which I have prayed so for in vain.’

Other number

2324 (2009 DH object access database number)

Object history note

Pictures and Drawings, Pickwick Papers, See Suzannet cat.G18 p55
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