In 1826 Thomas Hood — wit, poet, and novelist — armed with an introduction from Mr. Barron Field — offered Mr. Murray his book of Whims and Oddities, illustrated by forty woodcuts. Hood had already published, in conjunction with his brother-in-law Reynolds, The Odes and Addresses to Great People; but beyond this he was scarcely known. "You want a light book," said Mr. Field to Murray, "to relieve all your Voyages and Histories; and I think this will just suit you, and that you will find Mr. Hood a very pleasant acquaintance." But Mr. Murray had more publications on hand at the time than he could well manage, and he consequently declined Mr. Hood's work, which was published elsewhere.