She went up to Mr. Franklin without appearing to notice Mr. Godfrey.
Harper & Bros. house illustrators; unsigned.
14.4 cm high by 11.5 cm wide
Third illustration for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance in Harper's Weekly (8 February 1868), upper right, page 85. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
[You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Illustrations courtesy of the E. J. Pratt Fine Arts Library, University of Toronto, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia.
Hearing voices on the terrace below, I looked out of window, and saw the two gentlemen walking up and down together. Answering for my daughter, I said, "Mr. Franklin is on the terrace, miss."
Without another word, without heeding Mr. Superintendent, who tried to speak to her, pale as death, and wrapped up strangely in her own thoughts, she left the room, and went down to her cousins on the terrace.
It showed a want of due respect, it showed a breach of good manners, on my part, but, for the life of me, I couldn't help looking out of window when Miss Rachel met the gentlemen outside. She went up to Mr. Franklin without appearing to notice Mr. Godfrey, who thereupon drew back and left them by themselves. What she said to Mr. Franklin appeared to be spoken vehemently. It lasted but for a short time, and, judging by what I saw of his face from the window, seemed to astonish him beyond all power of expression. While they were still together, my lady appeared on the terrace. Miss Rachel saw her — said a few last words to Mr. Franklin—and suddenly went back into the house again, before her mother came up with her. My lady surprised herself, and noticing Mr. Franklin's surprise, spoke to him. Mr. Godfrey joined them, and spoke also. Mr. Franklin walked away a little between the two, telling them what had happened I suppose, for they both stopped short, after taking a few steps, like persons struck with amazement. I had just seen as much as this, when the door of the sitting-room was opened violently. Miss Rachel walked swiftly through to her bed-room, wild and angry, with fierce eyes and flaming cheeks. Mr. Superintendent once more attempted to question her. She turned round on him at her bed-room door. "I have not sent for you!" she cried out vehemently. "I don't want you. My Diamond is lost. Neither you nor anybody else will ever find it!" With those words she went in, and locked the door in our faces. Penelope, standing nearest to it, heard her burst out crying the moment she was alone again.
In a rage, one moment; in tears, the next! What did it mean? — "First Period: The Loss of the Diamond (1848), The Events related by Gabriel Betteredge, house-steward in the service of Julia, Lady Verinder,"Chapter 11, p. 86.
Thus far, Rachel Verinder has merely been an interesting adolescent with a wilful streak. However, under the stress of the loss of the diamond (and the knowledge that the supposed culprit is the young man she loves, whom she is determined at all costs to protect), she becomes a highly complex character with conflicting motivations, one of Wilkie Collins's most successful characterizations:
Rachel is no ordinary heroine, to whom events just happen, as for example Laura Fairlie [in The Woman in White]; she is a young woman of intelligence and spirit, fully in command of the situation. Similarly Franklin Blake is far removed from the wooden hero of so many novels of the period. His experience of the world, and of women, is frankly acknowledged. — Robinson, p. 222.
Although the reader at this point cannot guess what is afflicting Rachel, her behaviour with Franklin Blake and Superintendent Seegrave suggests that she believes the crime cannot be solved. If Blake were really the thief, he would have to pawn the Moonstone, sell it, or arrange to have it cut up into multiple gems, probably in Amsterdam; in other words, so unique and so valuable an object would be traceable, even on the black market. Consequently, Rachel cannot be sure that her intransigence will preserve Franklin Blake from prosecution, imprisonment, and social ignominy. But clearly she believes that she can obstruct the investigation sufficiently to give Blake a chance to get away. Thus, she must be utterly mystified by Blake's calling in a superior criminal investigator, the celebrated Sergeant Cuff. In order to preserve Blake, she must shut down the investigation, and therefore must persuade Blake to drop the matter. He is equally mystified by her total lack of participation in the search for the criminal and the stolen gem because, acting under the influence of laudanum, he now has no memory whatsoever of events in the early morning hours of 22 June 1848.
Although the reader of 1868, accustomed to reading text against image and image against text, would not have found the shift in perspective remarkable, the visualising of events naturally requires a change from a first-person point of view (Betteredge's studying the situation from a window above the terrace, without being able to hear the actual conversations below) to a dramatic or objective perspective, as if we are on the terrace with Rachel Verinder and Franklin Blake. Neither of them appears to be particularly stirred or shaken by the theft, whereas the text makes it clear that Rachel is vacillating between grief (presumably at the loss of her good opinion of her cousin) and anger (that he should brazen things out and pretend that he knows nothing about the disappearance of the gem). His gesture suggests that Rachel is upbraiding him, and that he is protesting his innocence. The illustrator's handling of the setting implies that the couple are on garden path rather than a terrace, and his costuming seems to locate the chronological setting in the sixties rather than the forties, particularly in terms of Rachel's hooped skirt and straw hat.
- The Moonstone and British India (1857, 1868, and 1876)
- Detection and Disruption inside and outside the 'quiet English home' in The Moonstone
- Illustrations by F. A. Fraser for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1890)
- Illustrations by John Sloan for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1908)
- Illustrations by Alfred Pearse for The Moonstone: A Romance (1910)
- The 1944 illustrations by William Sharp for The Moonstone (1946).
Last updated 17 August 2016