decorative initial 'A' rthur Hopkins, born only eight years after Hardy, lived to the age of 82. Whereas Gerard Manley Hopkins, his famous older brother, was born in 1844, Arthur, son of a prosperous marine insuyrance agent, was born on 30th December, 1848, in Stratford, London. Whereas Gerard went on to Balliol College, Oxford, and joined the Puseyites, Arthur was educated at Lancing College in Sussex, and, after graduation, worked in a London office before entering the Royal Academy schools in 1872.

He exhibited in various London galleries, chiefly that of the Royal Water-Colour Society and that of the Royal Academy, but over twenty-five years also contributed illustrations to The Graphic, Punch, and The Illustrated London News. He was made an Associate of the Royal Water-Colour Society in 1877, and a member in 1896. His brothers were also graphic artists: Everard (1860-1928) painted in watercolours as well; Edward was a black-and-white illustrator; and Gerard Manley was a fine draftsman (as well as a renowned poet). Arthur Hopkins' genre scenes of country life are in much the style of another Hardy illustrator, Helen Patterson Allingham. He was a member of the rising generation of illustrators influenced by du Maurier and William Small, and, as Forrest Reid remarks, was "a good draughtsman, with "a strong dramatic sense, to which is added a sense of character" (269). On the staff of The Illustrated London News in 1873, he redrew William Simpson's drawings of the Madoc Indian War. As a member M. E. Braddon's staff at The Belgravia, he illustrated James Payn's By Proxy (1877 and Confidential Agent (1879), Wilkie Collins's Haunted Hotel (1878), Charles Gibbon's Queen of the Meadow (1879), and Justin McCarthy's Donna Quixote (1879). In 1911, Arthur Hopkins' watercolour Agitated Sea sold at auction for 5 15 s 6d.

One wonders to what extent Hardy, the thorough countryman, influenced Hokins' conception of the heath, portrayed rather generally in the first two numbers, but so much more atmospherically and evocatively in the July instalment, "The stakes were won by Wildeve" (36: frontispiece). In the next month's issue, Hopkins adds a further dimension to Egdon heath, for its vegetable life seems almost to engulf the furze cutters, opposing their stubby knives with menacing tentacles that swirl around the cutters like unruly waves in "Unconscious of her presence, he still went on singing" (36: to face 238).


Victorian Web Victorian Book Illustration Arthur Hopkins

Last modified 26 October 2002