Charles Dickens "The Pickwick Papers"
It has been said that the big writer can always write to order, that he can turn to his own use whatever theme may be given to him; that he is big enough, that is to say, to make any theme his own. And in support of this contention there is no stronger witness than this fact, that the most humorous novel in the English language, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, was a commissioned book. In November, 1835, Chapman and Hall had issued with a fair measure of success a little book with plates by Seymour called The Squib Annual, and the artist suggested that he might follow it up with a series of 'cockney sporting plates,' to be accompanied with appropriate letterpress and published in monthly parts. Several writers were approached in connection with the scheme, and it was not until the work had been declined by Theodore Hook, Leigh Hunt, Clarke, Hood, and John Poole, that an offer was made to Dickens.