Harper's New Monthly Magazine, XC (January 1895) [See page 200] page 203. 21 cm wide by 12.3 cm high. Scanned image, caption, and commentary by Philip V. Allingham. Reproduced courtesy of Dorset County Council Library Service. This illustration for Thomas Hardy's The Simpletons later republished in book form when it appeared a new title, Jude the Obscure.by William Hatherell.
For his second illustration Hatherell has chosen to depict a crucial moment at the close of the January instalment, when Arabella attempts to enlist the sympathy of respectable passersby for the beating she has supposedly sustained at Jude's hands. As ever, Arabella is the master-manipulator.
Using the ploy of being pregnant, Arabella has tricked Jude into a marriage in which neither of them is comfortable. Angry that Jude apparently has money for the classics but not for her, she throws his precious books on the floor, leaving her pig-greased fingerprints on their covers. Protective of his books in an almost paternal way, the momentarily enraged Jude holds her until she promises to stop. However, as soon as he relinquishes his grip, she runs out of the cottage and intop the highway. Although Hardy specifically refers to a number of young couples making their way to Sunday morning servicers at the Alfredston church, in the plate only two respectably clad, middle-aged churchgoers Ůstare at the extraordinary spectacle' (Ch. XI) of Arabella in dishabille, her neck fastenings open, her hair streaming down her back, her sleeves rolled up, and her bare, greasy forearms exposed.
A Jude more cautious than "exasperated" peers out into the high road from the gate. The text's "frosty" morning has become "snowy in the illustration, but the image of the snow-covered road and hedgerow is certainly consistent with the earlier image of the pig's blood "splashed over the snow" (Ch. X), a visual analogue for Arabella's sullying Jude's innocence. The slatternly Arabella depicted here seems a far cry from the prim maiden in the first plate, but upon closer inspection the images are congruent in terms of her form and features.
Incongruous, however, is this dark-haired, dark-bearded Jude in the background -- which is in fact the Jude that Hardy gives us in the letter-press -- and the cherub-cheeked schoolboy in Plate 1. Of the eleven plates in which Jude appears, it is not coincidental that he is a marginal figure in the first two, in which Arabella is clearly the dominant figure. These are the only two scenes in which Arabella appears, overpowering Jude in terms of the artist's composition as she does in life. Jackson cocludes that "the relative emphasis given to the two figures seems to suggest Jude's helplessness in their relationship" (117).
Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure, ed. Dennis Taylor. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998.
Hatherell, William. Illustrations to Thomas Hardy's The Simpletons, afterwards Hearts Insurgent. Harper's New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 through November 1895. Volume XC: pages 2, 203, 365, 566, 737, and 956. Volume XCI: pages 118, 252, 410, 572, 754, and 896.
Jackson, Arlene. Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1981.
Last modified 9 August 2002