"I stood face to face with Mr. Peggotty!" 1870s. Illustration by Fred Barnard for the Household Edition of David Copperfield (Chapter XL, "The Wanderer," p. 281). Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Barnard depicts David Copperfield as slight with his face seen in profile and so cross-hatched as to be unrecognizable, but he gives us a stalwart Mr. Peggotty. Whereas the stiff wind that sweeps through the illustration from left to right propels David forward at an angle, Dan'l Peggotty remains unaffected as he extends his right hand toward to grasp David's. In the background, the blinding snow renders indistinct the steps of the church portico in the Strand, and the gas lamp lacks any power to illuminate the scene, but the Wanderer presses on, as fate has assigned him a duty he will not abandon, no matter what the weather or hardships he must endure. Thus, without the benefit of the kind of background detail and costume elements that Phiz loved to elaborate, Barnard has communicated the patriarchal Dan'l Peggotty's essential stedfastness.

References

Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield, with 61 illustrations by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1871-1879.

The copy of the Household Edition from which this picture was scanned was the gift of George Gorniak, Editor of The Dickens Magazine, whose subject for the fifth series, beginning in January 2010, is this novel.


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Illustration Charles Dickens Fred Barnard

Last modified 15 June 2009