Jules A. Goodman
10 cm hugh by 6.9 cm high framed
Frontispiece in the special 1898 volume of 216 pages No Thoroughfare. By Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins: Being the Extra Christmas Number of "All the Year Round," 1867. Christmas Stories.
[Click on image to enlarge it.]
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
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Vendale tried to think coherently, tried to speak coherently, tried to pick up the iron-shod staff he had let fall; failing to touch it, tried to stagger on without its aid. All in vain, all in vain! He stumbled, and fell heavily forward on the brink of the deep chasm.
Stupefied, dozing, unable to stand upon his feet, a veil before his eyes, his sense of hearing deadened, he made such a vigorous rally that, supporting himself on his hands, he saw his enemy standing calmly over him, and heard him speak.
"You call me murderer," said Obenreizer, with a grim laugh. "The name matters very little. But at least I have set my life against yours, for I am surrounded by dangers, and may never make my way out of this place. The Tourmente is rising again. The snow is on the whirl. I must have the papers now. Every moment has my life in it."
"Stop!" cried Vendale, in a terrible voice, staggering up with a last flash of fire breaking out of him, and clutching the thievish hands at his breast, in both of his. "Stop! Stand away from me! God bless my Marguerite! Happily she will never know how I died. Stand off from me, and let me look at your murderous face. Let it remind me — of something — left to say."
The sight of him fighting so hard for his senses, and the doubt whether he might not for the instant be possessed by the strength of a dozen men, kept his opponent still. Wildly glaring at him, Vendale faltered out the broken words:
"It shall not be — the trust — of the dead — betrayed by me — reputed parents — misinherited fortune — see to it!"
As his head dropped on his breast, and he stumbled on the brink of the chasm as before, the thievish hands went once more, quick and busy, to his breast. He made a convulsive attempt to cry "No!" desperately rolled himself over into the gulf; and sank away from his enemy's touch, like a phantom in a dreadful dream. ["Act Three: On the Mountain," pages 171-172]
The 1868 Diamond Edition of Christmas Books and the 1876 Harper and Brothers edition of Christmas Books, illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Junior and E. A. Abbey respectively, do not contain the novella. However, Edward Dalziel's series of illustrations for the Chapman and Hall volume, issued in 1877, does contain four three-quarter-page illustrations for No Thoroughfare, all of which focus on the characters rather than the settings. In Dalziel's sequence, Obenreizer appears twice, and Vendale in each wood-engraving, indicating clearly whom Dalziel regarded as the story's most important characters. As in the Furniss sequence, in the Household Edition the conflict between protagonist and antagonist rises to a textual crescendo in He became roused to the knowledge that Obenreizer had set upon him, and that they were struggling desperately in the snow.
In the nineteenth-century illustrated editions, the story has consistently been the subject of illustration, in particular, the scene involving the alpine struggle between the young protagonist, George Vendale, and the duplicitous Jules Obenreizer. Although Sol Eytinge in the Diamond Edition (1867-68) had no opportunity to provide an illustration for this last Christmas story (because it had yet to be published in periodical form when he was commisioned to illustrate the Diamond Edition in 1867), apparently the first American edition to include an illustration for The Collins-Dickens Christmas Stories Comprising "No Thoroughfare" and "The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices" was that published in Boston by William F. Gill and Company in 1876. This volume has a particularly dramatic rendering of this same life-and-death struggle for possession of the proofs of Obenreizer's forgery in which (somewhat inaccurately) the burly Obenreizer is in the act of pushing Vendale off the ledge — Frontispiece. The Death Struggle on the Brink of the Abyss. The frontispiece for the 1898 Chapman and Hall volume bears a marked resemblance to this American illustration, suggesting that A. Jules Goodman, a popular fin de siecle American book and magazine illustrator, had actually seen the 1876 lithograph.
Arthur Jules Goodman (died, 1926), the illustrator of the Heron Centennial Edition of the works of Charles Dickens (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1905, 34 vols.), is an American who trained at the Julian Academy in Paris from 1885 to 1890. Although he worked with Charles Green on the Gadshill Edition of Dickens's works, he is perhaps best remembered for his 1903 lithographic colour portrait of Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, widely distributed on postcards; however, his illustrations for the Centennial Edition of Dickens, Volume 2, Christmas Stories have also been widely reproduced. Shortly before receiving this Dickens commission from Chapman and Hall, Goodman had illustrated "An Imaginative Woman" by Thomas Hardy for The Pall Mall Magazine (April 1894). Although somewhat melodramatic, his version of the wrestling match involving the villainous Obenreizer and the naive George Vendale is vigorously realised, the static, icy backdrop effectively contrasting the desperate efforts of the young Englishman to save himself.
Relevant Illustrated Library Edition (1868), Household Edition (1877), and Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910) Illustrations
Upper left: E. G. Dalziel's "If there had been a wrestle with a robber, as I dreamed," said Obenreizer . . . . Upper right: Dalziel's "He became roused to the knowledge that Obenreizer had set upon him, and that they were struggling desperately in the snow." (1877). Lower left: Charles Green's dramatic 1868 illustration of the struggle in "No Thoroughfare". Lower right: Harry Furniss's impressionistic rendering of Obenreizer's attack on Vendale in the snow-bound Simplon Pass, "The Struggle on the Mountain" [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Bentley, Nicolas, Michael Slater, and Nina Burgis. The Dickens Index. Oxford and New York: Oxford U. P., 1988.
Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories. Il. Harry Furniss. Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. London: Educational Book Company, 1910. 2 vols.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories from "Household Words" and "All The Year Round". Il. Fred Walker, F. A. Fraser, Harry French, E. G. Dalziel, J. Mahony [sic], Townley Green, and Charles Green. Centenary Edition. 36 vols. London: Chapman & Hall; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911. Volume Two.
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Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories. Il. E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories from "Household Words" and "All the Year Round". Il. E. G. Dalziel. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1877. Rpt., 1892.
Dickens, Charles, and Wilkie Collins. No Thoroughfare. Il. Jules Goodman. London: Chapman and Hall, 1898.
Hardy, Thomas. "An Imaginative Woman." Pall Mall Magazine. Il. Jules Goodman. Vol. 2, No. 12 (April 1894): 951-969.
Schlicke, Paul, ed. "Christmas Stories." The Oxford Companion to Dickens. Oxford and New York: Oxford U. P., 1999. Pp. 100-101.
Thomas, Deborah A. Dickens and The Short Story. Philadelphia: U. Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Last modified 5 November 2013