The Sea Roared and Splashed Now as It Did When They Visited It Together as Children
Walter Paget (1863-1935)
16.5 cm high by 23.5 cm wide
Illustrated London News (8 October 1892): 427: Scene from Chapter III, "The Incarnation Is Assumed To Be A True One" of Thomas Hardy's The Pursuit of The Well-Beloved: A Sketch of a Temperament. 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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. ]
Avice is in the grip of conflicting emotions (suggested by the turbulent waters), for, having discovered that she is but the latest in a long line of beloveds (albeit, some of these relationships may be purely epistolary) when Jocelyn is burning the old love-letters (she notes that "they are in women's hands"), he has proposed to her. Paget may have chosen the scene at Cave Hole, but in doing so he has chosen a caption that underscores the essential difference in Jocelyn's relationship with Avice: they played together as children, for she was literally the girl next-door. This is a relationship that, conditioned by propinquity, has grown over time, as opposed to Jocelyn's relationship with Marcia in the coming instalment, which has produced by chance. Avice, invoking the kind of sexual morality that the patriarchal society of Hardy's era applied to women, is upset that she is "only one--in a long, long row" (ILN 426) to which Jocelyn mentally puts the names "Isabella, Florence, Winifred, Lucy, Jane and Evangeline, and will include (unknown to us and Jocelyn at the moment) her own daughter and granddaughter! Jocelyn's defence of his amatory history is a rebuttal of the sexual double-standard of the time: "Still, what does it matter? We must gain experience'" (426) -- the "we" tantalizes, because we cannot judge how inclusive Jocelyn (or Hardy, for that matter) intends it to be: "you and I?" "men in general?" "young people in general"?
Hardy, Thomas. The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved. The Illustrated London News, 8 October--17 December, 1892. Pp. 426-775.
Hardy, Thomas. The Well-Beloved with The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892). Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Classics, 2000.
Jackson, Arlene M. Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1981.
Last modified 25 August 2002