Everything was done, even to the packing of his portmanteau.
Walter Paget (1863-1935)
Illustrated London News, 17 December 1892, page 773. 19.3 cm high by 14.5 cm wide.
Scene from Chapter XXXII, "The Pursuit Abandoned" (page 774) Thomas Hardy's The Pursuit of The Well-Beloved: A Sketch of a Temperament.
Having posted a letter to his friend Somers expressing his intention to disappear from England and live out his days "on the other side of the Atlantic," Pearston contemplates how he might better free Avice III from her marriage to him, leave her a competence, and make way for a spouse more apropriate in age, the teacher Henri. As the "taedium vitae" overwhelms him in this plate, Jocelyn decides upon another course (as yet undisclosed) and writes again to Somers. Once again, as in the first plate, Pearston is alone in his London rooms, preparing for a journey -- but what a passive and introverted figure he is here compared to his younger self at the start of the visual program. In the next plate, he looks outward, to the reader and the waters of The Race, but here he looks inward. Although this "introspective" Jocelyn Pearston is unusual in Paget's extensive program of illustration, an alienated protagonist is not, for he appears by himself in plates 1, 8, and 16.
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 7 August 2002