In Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy, Arlene M. Jackson (1981) notes that William Hatherell provided the monthly illustrations for the twelve parts of Jude the Obscure when it appeared under the titles The Simpletons (December 1894) and Hearts Insurgent (January through November, 1895) in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Although she notes that he received commissions from such prominent American illustrated magazines as the Century and Scribner's, she does not mention that Hatherell had been responsible two years earlier for the illustration for "The Fiddler of the Reels" in the Harper's.

Hatherell became noted for his refusal to be pressured into hasty work. For illustrating current events, for instance, he used models, often carefully posed in his backyard garden (carefully cultivated in Georgian style), or in his modern studio. This familiarity with models and backdrops may be the reason for the kind of illustration Hatherell customarily created: "He always tried to make a picture instead of a mere photographic illustration. He would never be led into the production of a diagrammatic drawing of unnecessary detail -- a kind of jig-saw puzzle of 'little bits.' He always had the painter's appreciation of colour, the sense of the values of broad masses, and a feeling for atmosphere." [quoted by Jackson, p. 60, from "W. Hatherell and His Work," The Art of the Illustrator, page 6 [London, 1918])

In November, 1895, Hardy wrote a letter of appreciation to Hatherell which resulted in the artist's presenting a complete set of the Jude illustrations, which the novelist had framed and hung over his fireplace in his final study at Max Gate, now re-created in the Dorchester Museum.

Related materials

Plates for The Simpletons, afterwards Hearts Insurgent an [Jude the Obscure] n Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vols. XC-XCI (1894-95).


Victorian Web Victorian Illustration William Hatherell Thomas Hardy

Last modified 9 August 2002