"I am glad to see you employed," said Mr. Traveller. "I am glad to be employed," returned the Tinker. — P. 114.
E. G. Dalziel
14 x 10.8 cm framed
Dickens's Christmas Stories, the Chapman and Hall Household Edition, facing page 113 [See commentary below].
[Click on image to enlarge it and mouse over text for links.]
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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
"I am glad to see you employed," said Mr. Traveller.
"I am glad to be employed," returned the Tinker.
"I am glad to be employed," returned the Tinker, looking up as he put the finishing touches to his job. "But why are you glad?"
"I thought you were a lazy fellow when I saw you this morning."
"I was only disgusted," said the Tinker.
"Do you mean with the fine weather?"
"With the fine weather?" repeated the Tinker, staring.
"You told me you were not particular as to weather, and I thought & mdash;"
"Ha, ha! How should such as me get on, if we was particular as to weather? We must take it as it comes, and make the best of it. There's something good in all weathers. If it don't happen to be good for my work to-day, it's good for some other man's to-day, and will come round to me to-morrow. We must all live."
"Pray shake hands," said Mr. Traveller. [Chapter 3, "Picking up The Tinker"]
Townley Green's illustration entitled Tom Tiddler's Ground in the 1868 Illustrated Library Edition realizes precisely the same moment in the text, in what was the seventh and final chapter of the novella, published as the Christmas story for 1861, Dickens's third seasonal offering for his new journal All the Year Round, reprinted in anthologised texts "In Three Chapters," all of which were by Dickens himself. Originally, Tom Tiddler's Ground included a series of short stories by Wilkie Collins ("Picking up Waifs at Sea"), Wilkie's brother and Dickens's son-in-law, Charles Collins ("Picking up Evening Shadows"), the elusive John Berwick Harwood ("Picking up a Pocket Book"), and Amelia B. Edwards ("Picking up Terrible Company"), all of which the Illustrated Library Edition and subsequent editions omit.
The artistic context for E. G. Dalziel's choice of subject for the 1861 Extra Christmas Number's framed tale, overshadowed by Dickens's serialising Great Expectations at the time, is Tom Tiddler's Ground by Townley Green for the 1868 Illustrated Library Edition. It is interesting to note that this is actually the second illustration for Tom Tiddler's Ground, the first being "What is your name, sir, and where do you come from?". The choice of where to position this rare, full-page composite wood-engravings and what the subject would be were both apparently determined by each Household Edition by E. G. Dalziel for the British Household Edition. [Commentary continued below.]
Relevant Illustrated Library (1868) and Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910) Illustrations
Left : Townley Green's "Tom Tiddler's Ground" (1868). Right: Harry Furniss's "The Tinker's Philosophy" (1910). [Click on images to enlarge them.]
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Scenes and characters from the works of Charles Dickens; being eight hundred and sixty-six drawings, by Fred Barnard, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz); J. Mahoney; Charles Green; A. B. Frost; Gordon Thomson; J. McL. Ralston; H. French; E. G. Dalziel; F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes; printed from the original woodblocks engraved for "The Household Edition.". New York: Chapman and Hall, 1908. Copy in the Robarts Library, University of Toronto.
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Last modified 28 April 2014