Ornamental headnote with a vignette of Hardy (left) from Thomas Hardy's "To Please His Wife" in 21.1 Black and White: A Weekly Illustrated Record and Review (27 June 1891): 678 (surmounting the first page of text).

An obvious imitator of the highly successful London Graphic, this "folio" (large-scale) illustrated weekly entered a crowded market in 1891 and survived until only 1912. According to J. Don Vann and Rosemary VanArsdel in Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research, Vol. 2 (89), the publishers of the Black and White: A Weekly Illustrated Record and Review were aiming at the market first served by the Illustrated London News (1842); it described itself as "The best engraved, the best written and the best illustrated paper in the World" (p. 19), and was a great consumer of both serial novels and short stories, as well as a new poetic form, the dialogue, "much admired by [its] editor, Oswald Crawfurd" (p. 24). Hardy had already sold the story to the American publisher S. S. McClure on 17 September 1890, probably before he had actually written it, according to Martin Ray in Thomas Hardy: A Textual Study of the Short Stories (1997), p. 218.

Scanned image, caption, and commentary 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.]

Last modified 27 December 2007