'My Sister Loo?' Said Tom. 'She Never Cared for Old Bounderby.'

"'My Sister Loo?' Said Tom. 'She Never Cared for Old Bounderby.'" by Charles S. Reinhart. 1870. 13.3 cm wide by 10.2 cm high (horizontally mounted, with text above and below on a page 24 cm high by 16.2 cm wide). This plate illustrates Book Two, Chapter Three, "The Whelp," in Charles Dickens's Hard Times, which appeared in American Household Edition, 1870. Page 171.

In James Harthouse's hotel room, having detected at Bounderby's a change come over Louisa's face as she opened the door for her scapegrace brother, Harthouse plies Tom with drink and strong tobacco to wheedle out of him the secret to winning his sister Loo's affections. Reinhart has little to go on from Dickens's scant description of the room at the railway hotel: "Tom was soon in a highly free-and-easy state at his end of the sofa" (170), left, which the artist has augmented with a matching easy-chair, right. At this point, as in the text on the previous page, Harthouse has risen from the couch, "and lounging with his back against the chimney-piece, so that he stood before the empty fire-grate as he smoked" (170), studies the Whelp. Their conversation, focussing on Louisa's upbringing and subsequent marriage, continues on the selfsame page as Reinhart's plate, smoke ascending from Tom's recently lit cigar, his glass ("a cooling drink adapted to the weather") now drained. The furnishings and chimney-piece are rather better than one might have expected, but perhaps the ally of Gradgrind and Bounderby, "Those Hard Fact Fellows," has been given the best room in the house.

Scanned image and text 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.]


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Last modified 22 September 2002