“Here! I'll take her!” cried Trotty, lifting up the Child by Charles Green (p. 57). 1912. 11.5 x 14.7 cm. Dickens's The Chimes, Pears Centenary Edition, in which the plates often have captions that are different from the titles in the "List of Illustrations" (p. 15-16). Specifically, Trotty taking the Lilian and Will Fern Home has a lengthy caption that is quite different from the title in the "List of Illustrations"; the textual quotation that serves as the caption for this illustration of Trotty's escorting the benighted Dorset travellers to his home is "'Here! I'll take her!' cried Trotty, lifting up the child.'" ("Second Quarter," p. 70 — the passage realised is immediately above the illustration, on page 56). The equivalent illustration in the 1844 first edition of the novella is Daniel Maclise's depiction of the Veck parlour, with Will, Lilian, and Meg by the fire (mantle evident, right), Trotty at Home ("Second Quarter," p. 49), in which Trotty plays the host, relinquishing his footstool to Will.

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.]

Passage Illustrated

"Stay!" cried Trotty, catching at his hand, as he relaxed his grip. "Stay! The New Year never can be happy to me, if we part like this. The New Year never can be happy to me, if I see the child and you go wandering away, you don't know where, without a shelter for your heads. Come home with me! I'm a poor man, living in a poor place; but I can give you lodging for one night and never miss it. Come home with me! Here! I'll take her!" cried Trotty, lifting up the child. "A pretty one! I'd carry twenty times her weight, and never know I'd got it. Tell me if I go too quick for you. I'm very fast. I always was!" Trotty said this, taking about six of his trotting paces to one stride of his fatigued companion; and with his thin legs quivering again, beneath the load he bore.

         ["Second Quarter," p. 70-71, 1912 edition]

Commentary

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In (1844) provides no equivalent for this illustration of Will Fern's accompanying his new-found friend, Trotty Veck, home. However, Daniel Maclise's picture of Will and Lilian as Trotty's guest in his modest accommodation, Trotty at Home ("Second Quarter," p. 49) in the original sequence depicts a rather more brawny countryman with long sideburns; Maclise gives him the same sort of linen smock-frock worn by rural labourers, but provides him with breeches and shoes rather than boots. The child, Lilian, appears in Trotty's Dream by Harry Furniss (1910), but her uncle, the radical, Will Fern, does not, whereas in the original sequence he appears once again, a diminutive figure in the picturesque Will Fern's Cottage. Will's most significant appearance in any other previous series occurs in Fred Barnard's "Whither thou goest, I can Not go; where thou lodgest, I do Not lodge; thy people are Not my people; Nor thy God my God!" in which, in Trotty's dream-vision, a haggard Will Fern, but recently released from prison, denounces Sir Joseph Bowley and his dinner guests as callous, unfeeling aristocrats who do not care about the welfare of the workers whose labouring in the fields has made these aristocrats rich and powerful for generations. There is no hint of the rebel in Green's small-scale lithograph, which underscores Trotty's essential humanity, despite his verbal denigration of the working-class as "born bad," a sentiment he has derived from the conservative newspapers he reads. The illustration, then, undercuts such remarks to emphasize Trotty's compassion for a pair of travellers utterly unknown to him until this night.

Illustrations from the first edition (1844), the British Household Edition (1878), and the Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910)

Left: Daniel Maclise's scene of Trotty entertaining the two travellers from Dorset, Trotty at Home. Right: Harry Furniss's study of​ Trotty's orchestrating a happy ending for his daughter, Trotty's Dream. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Above: Fred Barnard's 1878 wood-engraving of Will's denouncing Sir Joseph and his guests, "Whither thou goest, I can Not go; where thou lodgest, I do Not lodge; thy people are Not my people; Nor thy God my God!" [Click on images to enlarge them.]

References

Dickens, Charles. The Chimes. Introduction by Clement Shorter. Illustrated by Charles Green. The Pears' Centenary Edition. London: A & F Pears, [?1912].

Dickens, Charles. The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, and Daniel Maclise. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1844.

Dickens, Charles. The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, and Daniel Maclise. (1844). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Hardmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978. Pp. 137-252.

Dickens, Charles. Christmas Books​. Illustrated by​ Fred Barnard. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.

Dickens, Charles. 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.

Solberg, Sarah A. "'Text Dropped into the Woodcuts': Dickens' Christmas Books." Dickens Studies Annual 8 (1980): 103-118.

Thomas, Deborah A. Dickens and The Short Story. Philadelphia: U. Pennsylvania Press, 1982.

Welsh, Alexander. "Time and the City in The Chimes." Dickensian 73, 1 (January 1977): 8-17.


Created 5 May 2015