Title page to Volume III of The Pic Nic Papers by Various Hands, published by Henry Colburn in 1841.  Publication of The Pic Nic Papers came about in the following way: John Macrone, who published Dickens’s first book Sketches by Boz, drove a hard bargain and Dickens had no further dealings with him.  However, when Macrone died, he left a widow and several children in destitute circumstances.  Dickens undertook the management of The Pic Nic Papers, and decided that the proceeds of the book’s sale should go to alleviate the hardship of the Macrone family.  Dickens wrote the Introduction, and contributed the farce “The Lamplighter’s Story”.  Other contributors, following Dickens’s example, made contributions of stories, essays, etc. also without compensation.  The book’s sale realized 300 pounds for the Macrone family.  The contents of Volume III started a controversy precipitated by R. Shelton MacKenzie in his 1870 biography of Dickens.  It was alleged that the contents of Volume III were annexed from “Charcoal Sketches” by J. C. Neal, and that Dickens had not given proper credit to this source.  Dickens stated in a letter to Edmund Yates in 1859 that “of that volume (Volume III) I didn’t know, and don’t know, anything.”