"The Haunted Man Visits the Sick Student" by Charles Green. 1912. 7.5 x 8.1 cm, framed. Charles Dickens's The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas Time, Pears Centenary Edition, in which the plates often have captions that are different from the short titles given at the beginning of the volume in the "List of Illustrations" (p. 15-16). For example, the series editor, Clement Shorter, has included some of the same quotation that Fred Barnard had used as a caption underneath the picture of Mr. Denham. However, Green's sick student is in his dressing gown and not merely a nightgown (as in E. A. Abbey's 1876 version of the same scene) as he rises from his couch upon Professor Redlaw's entering the room, The student raised himself . . . "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up. Redlaw put out his arm. "Don't come nearer to me" in the Household Edition of 1878. However, whereas Green places the reader nearer the student, Barnard develops the scene from Redlaw's perspective, as does Dickens in the accompanying text.

The Passage Illustrated

The Chemist glanced about the room; — at the student's books and papers, piled upon a table in a corner, where they, and his extinguished reading-lamp, now prohibited and put away, told of the attentive hours that had gone before this illness, and perhaps caused it; — at such signs of his old health and freedom, as the out-of-door attire that hung idle on the wall; — at those remembrances of other and less solitary scenes, the little miniatures upon the chimney-piece, and the drawing of home; — at that token of his emulation, perhaps, in some sort, of his personal attachment too, the framed engraving of himself, the looker-on. The time had been, only yesterday, when not one of these objects, in its remotest association of interest with the living figure before him, would have been lost on Redlaw. Now, they were but objects; or, if any gleam of such connexion shot upon him, it perplexed, and not enlightened him, as he stood looking round with a dull wonder.

The student, recalling the thin hand which had remained so long untouched, raised himself on the couch, and turned his head.

"Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up.

Redlaw put out his arm.

"Don't come nearer to me. I will sit here. Remain you, where you are!"

He sat down on a chair near the door, and having glanced at the young man standing leaning with his hand upon the couch, spoke with his eyes averted towards the ground.

"I heard, by an accident, by what accident is no matter, that one of my class was ill and solitary. I received no other description of him, than that he lived in this street. Beginning my inquiries at the first house in it, I have found him."

"I have been ill, sir," returned the student, not merely with a modest hesitation, but with a kind of awe of him, "but am greatly better. An attack of fever — of the brain, I believe — has weakened me, but I am much better. I cannot say I have been solitary, in my illness, or I should forget the ministering hand that has been near me." ["Chapter Two: The Gift Diffused," Pears Centenary Edition, p. 81-83; British Household Edition, p. 176]

Commentary

Whereas Dickens's original illustrators — John Leech, Clarkson Stanfield, John Tenniel, and Frank Stone — were constrained by Dickens's and John Forster's oversight in their productions for the last Christmas Book, the illustrators of the British and American Household Editions of The Christmas Books, Fred Barnard and E. A. Abbey could offer fresh ideas and realise situations that their predecessors had not, although their narrative-pictorial sequences are much shorter than that by Charles Green for the 1912 Pears Centenary Edition of The Haunted Man. So successful was the Anglo-American venture in the 1870s and 1880s that Barnard's images displaced those of Dickens's original illustrators in the popular imagination, so that the interpretations of such later illustrators as Harry Furniss and A. A. Dixon, for example, are as much a reaction to the Household Edition wood-engravings as to the novels' original illustrations. In the case of Redlaw's visiting the sick student in his rooms in the Jerusalem Buildings, Barnard has created classical chiaroscuro, highlights and Rembrantesque deep shadows, by inserting a roaring fire behind the figures to inject a sense of the numinous, whereas the text (emphasizing the room's damp, unwholesome environment) is quite clear about the inferior heating in the student's garret being "A meagre scanty stove, pinched and hollowed like a sick man's cheeks" (Pears Edition 81). Green, therefore, does not attempt to utilise a fireplace, and instead has Redlaw hold a flaring candle to highlight the visitor's face and throw that of Denham into partial shadow, throwing the bookcase and window in the rear into deep shadow suggestive of the student's despondency. The candle has the added effect of drawing the viewer's attention to Redlaw's gesture of alarm — ironically, he is warning the patient not to approach him lest he infect the young man with his psychological contagion, the dubious benefit of emotional forgetfulness. Unfortunately, in order to imbue the room with a melancholy and mysterious atmosphere Green is unable to depict "the student's books and papers, piled upon a table in a corner" (82). Green like Barnard relies upon the contrasting postures and attitudes of the two figures to imply the nature of their relationship and Denham's (i. e., Longford's) surprise at the visit from his heretofore aloof professor. Although Redlaw's pose is somewhat melodramatic, Green has effectively rendered a precise textual moment facing the lithograph:

The student, recalling the thin hand which had remained so long untouched, raised himself on the couch, and turned his head. [83]

Green has provided visual continuity not only through Redlaw's costume (identical to that in the previous illustration, showing Rewdlaw as he appears when arrives in the Tetterbys' parlour), but also through his unnaturally pale face. However, like Barnard and Abbey, Green has failed to realise the despondency of Longford that Dickens's original illustrator, Frank Stone, had so effectively communicated through the student's posture and expression.

Relevant Illustrations from the 1848 and Later Editions

Frank Stone's description of Milly Swidger's tenderly ministering to the sick student: Milly and the Student; centre, Abbey's "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up; and, right, Fred Barnard's 1878 melodramatic engraving of the same moment, "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up..

Above: Harry Furniss elegant description of Milly Swidger's visit to Denham, Milly (1910). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

References

Brereton, D. N. "Introduction." Charles Dickens's Christmas Books. London and Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, n. d.

Cohen, Jane Rabb. Charles Dickens and his Original Illustrators Columbus: Ohio U. P., 1980.

Cook, James. Bibliography of the Writings of Dickens. London: Frank Kerslake, 1879. As given in Publishers' Circular The English Catalogue of Books.

Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.

Dickens, Charles. The Haunted Man; or, The Ghost's Bargain. Illustrated by John Leech, Frank Stone, John Tenniel, and Clarkson Stanfield. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.

___. The Haunted Man. Illustrated by John Leech, Frank Stone, John Tenniel, and Clarkson Stanfield. (1848). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978. Vol. 2, p. 235-362, 365-366.

___. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas Time. Illustrated by Charles Green, R. I. London: A & F Pears, 1912.

___. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.

___. Christmas Books, illustrated by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.

___. Christmas Books, illustrated by A. A. Dixon. London & Glasgow: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1906.

___. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.

___. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.

___. The Haunted Man. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by Felix Octavius Carr Darley. The Household Edition. New York: James G. Gregory, 1861. Vol. 2, 155-300.


Last modified 13 July 2015

"The Haunted Man Visits the Sick Student" — Charles Green's seventeenth illustration for "The Haunted Man"

"The Haunted Man Visits the Sick Student" by Charles Green. 1912. 7.5 x 8.1 cm, framed. Charles Dickens's The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas Time, Pears Centenary Edition, in which the plates often have captions that are different from the short titles given at the beginning of the volume in the "List of Illustrations" (p. 15-16). For example, the series editor, Clement Shorter, has included some of the same quotation that Fred Barnard had used as a caption underneath the picture of Mr. Denham. However, Green's sick student is in his dressing gown and not merely a nightgown (as in E. A. Abbey's 1876 version of the same scene) as he rises from his couch upon Professor Redlaw's entering the room, The student raised himself . . . "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up. Redlaw put out his arm. "Don't come nearer to me" in the Household Edition of 1878. However, whereas Green places the reader nearer the student, Barnard develops the scene from Redlaw's perspective, as does Dickens in the accompanying text.

The Passage Illustrated

The Chemist glanced about the room; — at the student's books and papers, piled upon a table in a corner, where they, and his extinguished reading-lamp, now prohibited and put away, told of the attentive hours that had gone before this illness, and perhaps caused it; — at such signs of his old health and freedom, as the out-of-door attire that hung idle on the wall; — at those remembrances of other and less solitary scenes, the little miniatures upon the chimney-piece, and the drawing of home; — at that token of his emulation, perhaps, in some sort, of his personal attachment too, the framed engraving of himself, the looker-on. The time had been, only yesterday, when not one of these objects, in its remotest association of interest with the living figure before him, would have been lost on Redlaw. Now, they were but objects; or, if any gleam of such connexion shot upon him, it perplexed, and not enlightened him, as he stood looking round with a dull wonder.

The student, recalling the thin hand which had remained so long untouched, raised himself on the couch, and turned his head.

"Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up.

Redlaw put out his arm.

"Don't come nearer to me. I will sit here. Remain you, where you are!"

He sat down on a chair near the door, and having glanced at the young man standing leaning with his hand upon the couch, spoke with his eyes averted towards the ground.

"I heard, by an accident, by what accident is no matter, that one of my class was ill and solitary. I received no other description of him, than that he lived in this street. Beginning my inquiries at the first house in it, I have found him."

"I have been ill, sir," returned the student, not merely with a modest hesitation, but with a kind of awe of him, "but am greatly better. An attack of fever — of the brain, I believe — has weakened me, but I am much better. I cannot say I have been solitary, in my illness, or I should forget the ministering hand that has been near me." ["Chapter Two: The Gift Diffused," Pears Centenary Edition, p. 81-83; British Household Edition, p. 176]

Commentary

Whereas Dickens's original illustrators — John Leech, Clarkson Stanfield, John Tenniel, and Frank Stone — were constrained by Dickens's and John Forster's oversight in their productions for the last Christmas Book, the illustrators of the British and American Household Editions of The Christmas Books, Fred Barnard and E. A. Abbey could offer fresh ideas and realise situations that their predecessors had not, although their narrative-pictorial sequences are much shorter than that by Charles Green for the 1912 Pears Centenary Edition of The Haunted Man. So successful was the Anglo-American venture in the 1870s and 1880s that Barnard's images displaced those of Dickens's original illustrators in the popular imagination, so that the interpretations of such later illustrators as Harry Furniss and A. A. Dixon, for example, are as much a reaction to the Household Edition wood-engravings as to the novels' original illustrations. In the case of Redlaw's visiting the sick student in his rooms in the Jerusalem Buildings, Barnard has created classical chiaroscuro, highlights and Rembrantesque deep shadows, by inserting a roaring fire behind the figures to inject a sense of the numinous, whereas the text (emphasizing the room's damp, unwholesome environment) is quite clear about the inferior heating in the student's garret being "A meagre scanty stove, pinched and hollowed like a sick man's cheeks" (Pears Edition 81). Green, therefore, does not attempt to utilise a fireplace, and instead has Redlaw hold a flaring candle to highlight the visitor's face and throw that of Denham into partial shadow, throwing the bookcase and window in the rear into deep shadow suggestive of the student's despondency. The candle has the added effect of drawing the viewer's attention to Redlaw's gesture of alarm — ironically, he is warning the patient not to approach him lest he infect the young man with his psychological contagion, the dubious benefit of emotional forgetfulness. Unfortunately, in order to imbue the room with a melancholy and mysterious atmosphere Green is unable to depict "the student's books and papers, piled upon a table in a corner" (82). Green like Barnard relies upon the contrasting postures and attitudes of the two figures to imply the nature of their relationship and Denham's (i. e., Longford's) surprise at the visit from his heretofore aloof professor. Although Redlaw's pose is somewhat melodramatic, Green has effectively rendered a precise textual moment facing the lithograph:

The student, recalling the thin hand which had remained so long untouched, raised himself on the couch, and turned his head. [83]

Green has provided visual continuity not only through Redlaw's costume (identical to that in the previous illustration, showing Rewdlaw as he appears when arrives in the Tetterbys' parlour), but also through his unnaturally pale face. However, like Barnard and Abbey, Green has failed to realise the despondency of Longford that Dickens's original illustrator, Frank Stone, had so effectively communicated through the student's posture and expression.

Relevant Illustrations from the 1848 and Later Editions

Frank Stone's description of Milly Swidger's tenderly ministering to the sick student: Milly and the Student; centre, Abbey's "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up; and, right, Fred Barnard's 1878 melodramatic engraving of the same moment, "Mr. Redlaw!" he exclaimed, and started up..

Above: Harry Furniss elegant description of Milly Swidger's visit to Denham, Milly (1910). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

References

Brereton, D. N. "Introduction." Charles Dickens's Christmas Books. London and Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, n. d.

Cohen, Jane Rabb. Charles Dickens and his Original Illustrators Columbus: Ohio U. P., 1980.

Cook, James. Bibliography of the Writings of Dickens. London: Frank Kerslake, 1879. As given in Publishers' Circular The English Catalogue of Books.

Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.

Dickens, Charles. The Haunted Man; or, The Ghost's Bargain. Illustrated by John Leech, Frank Stone, John Tenniel, and Clarkson Stanfield. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.

___. The Haunted Man. Illustrated by John Leech, Frank Stone, John Tenniel, and Clarkson Stanfield. (1848). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978. Vol. 2, p. 235-362, 365-366.

___. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas Time. Illustrated by Charles Green, R. I. London: A & F Pears, 1912.

___. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.

___. Christmas Books, illustrated by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.

___. Christmas Books, illustrated by A. A. Dixon. London & Glasgow: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1906.

___. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.

___. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.

___. The Haunted Man. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by Felix Octavius Carr Darley. The Household Edition. New York: James G. Gregory, 1861. Vol. 2, 155-300.


Last modified 13 July 2015