Peggotty and Barkis

"Peggotty and Barkis," the fourth illustration for the volume by Sol Eytinge, Jr. 1867. 7.6 cm high by 9 cm wide. The fourth full-page illustration for the Diamond Edition of Dickens's The Personal History of David Copperfield (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867), facing page 83. 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.]

The most peculiar character in the first part of the story, the Yarmouth carrier, Barkis, is clearly interested in marrying Clara Peggotty, but somehow he lacks the self-confidence to propose for himself, and so he enlists the child upon whom Clara dotes to be his spokesman. Apparently — if we may judge by the rather formal manner in which the pair are dressed and the spatterboard of Barkis's wagon — they have just been married, and are driving away from the church:

She was a little confused when Mr. Barkis made this abrupt announcement of their union, and could not hug me enough in token of her unimpaired affection; but she soon became herself again, and said she was very glad it was over. [Ch. 10, "I Become Neglected, and Am Provided For"]

Reference

Dickens, Charles. The Personal History of David Copperfield, il. Sol Eytinge, Junior. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867.


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Last modified 9 January 2011