"The Three Warriors."
Sol Eytinge, Junior
10.2 cm high x 7.5 cm wide
Frontispiece for Dickens's The Uncommercial Traveller and Additional Christmas Stories in the Ticknor & Fields (Boston, 1867) Diamond Edition.
[Click on image to enlarge it and mouse over text for links.]
The three comic-opera soldiers and the relatively flat backdrop prepare the reader for Dickens's surreal vision of real-life farce in a Strasbourg street outside the shop of Straudenheim. [Commentary continues below]
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
[You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
After leaning so far out of the window, that I confidently expected to see their heels tilt up, Straudenheim and the lean man drew their heads in and shut the window. Presently, the house door secretly opened, and they slowly and spitefully crept forth into the pouring rain. They were coming over to me (I thought) to demand satisfaction for my looking at the housekeeper, when they plunged into a recess in the architecture under my window and dragged out the puniest of little soldiers, begirt with the most innocent of little swords. The tall glazed head-dress of this warrior, Straudenheim instantly knocked off, and out of it fell two sugar-sticks, and three or four large lumps of sugar. [p. 47]
Although Chapman and Hall raced to publish an edition of The Uncommercial Traveller essays in volume form in 1861, this initial anthology contained only seventeen articles, and no illustrations. Prior to the 1874 Illustrated Library Edition, George J. Pinwell had provided Chapman and Hall with a single illustration for the 1868 anthology of The Uncommercial Traveller; F. G. Kitton, however, does not indicate whether any of the four 1874 illustrations repeats the single wood-engraving of the 1865 Cheap Edition. Rather than attempting to capture the stage humour of the Staudenheim scene offered by the 1870s Household Edition illustrators on either side of the Atlantic, Pinwell offers a serious and realistic study from life in the Paris streets, with Dickens himself making an appearance. For "Travelling Abroad," originally published in All the Year Round on 7 April 1860, Sol Eytinge in the 1867 Diamond Edition compilation of essays from The Uncommercial Traveller realized in a markedly unrealistic style the three "warriors," who of course are hardly even credible as uniformed officials, let alone genuine soldiers. Eytinge's mistake is that he tries to make his subjects look funny rather than to describe their farcical behaviour in their interaction with Straudenheim and his companion.
Illustrations Relevant from the Charles Dickens Edition (1868) and Household Editions (1876-77)
Leftt: George Pinwell's "Leaving the Morgue" (1868). Centre: E. G. Dalziel's "The tall glazed head-dress of this warrior Straudenheim instantly knocked off" (1877). Right: C. S. Reinhart's "And shook all his ten fingers in his face" (1878). [Click on images to enlarge them.]
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Last modified 2 April 2014