Robert Seymour was an English draughtsman from the early 19th century. Although he ranked among the greatest artists and engravers of his time, he never entered fully into the society for which his success suited him. He began his career as an oil painter, but eventually he started working for publishing house of Knight & Lacey. He was paid half a guinea for each illustration, which was low compared with others. He then went to work for a small printer named McLean. He signed his work at this time with "Shortshanks", a comical derivation of "Cruikshank". However, fellow illustrator George Cruikshank complained and the pseudonym was dropped.
It was in the period from 1827 to 1831 that Seymour provided a series of illustrations for two series of plays published by Richardson, 'New Royal Acted Drama' and 'New Minor Drama, 1827-1830'. He also produced some panels containing sequential art, and he even used speech balloons. His most famous work is probably illustrating 'The Pickwick Papers', by the then relatively unknown Charles Dickens. Unfortunately, Seymour committed suicide before the book appeared.
British writer Stephen Jarvis wrote a novel The novel which features Seymour as its main character, called 'Death and Mr Pickwick' (Random House Group, 2015). The novel explores Seymour’s life, suicide and the story behind the creation of Charles Dickens’s first novel.