Frontispiece: Christminster (Oxford)
12.4 x 8.6 cm
Facing title-page in Hardy's Jude the Obscure.
Volume 8 of the First Uniform Edition of the Wessex Novels, with illustrations by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn. London: Osgood-McIlvaine, 1897. [This is the first volume edition.]
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
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Text associated with the Half-Title and Title-Pages in the Osgood, McIlvaine edition
The "Christminster" of the story Drawn on the spot.
For many days he haunted the cloisters and quadrangles of the colleges at odd minutes in pass- ing them, surprised by impish echoes of his own footsteps." — Page 102.
For many days he haunted the cloisters and quadrangles of the colleges at odd minutes in passing them, surprised by impish echoes of his own footsteps, smart as the blows of a mallet. The Christminster "sentiment," as it had been called, ate further and further into him; till he probably knew more about those buildings materially, artistically, and historically, than any one of their inmates.
It was not till now, when he found himself actually on the spot of his enthusiasm, that Jude perceived how far away from the object of that enthusiasm he really was. Only a wall divided him from those happy young contemporaries of his with whom he shared a common mental life; men who had nothing to do from morning till night but to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. Only a wall — but what a wall!. — Book Two, "At Christminster," Chapter 2, p. 102.
In the original serialisation in the Harper's New Monthly Magazine (Dececember 1894 — November 1895), illustrator William Hatherell focusses not on the Wessex settings, but rather on the characters (particularly of Jude, Sue, Richard Philltoson, and Arabella), so that there is no comparable illustration to Macbeth-Raeburn's. Over the course of the twelve monthly plates, illustrator William Hatherell focuses on figures rather settings, and never shows the New Jerusalem that constantly beckons Jude, and ultimately disillusions him. The only significant illustration involving the university city is Jude stood up and began rhetorically (Chapter 17, March 1895), in which Jude is reciting the Articles of the [Nicene] Creed in the Latin tongue for the edification of the company" in exchange for a small Scotch, having been rebuffed in his efforts to enter tertiary education by the masters of the various colleges of "Christminster."
Curiously, the vision of the city upon which Jude focuses his personal, spiritual, and academic aspirations throughout the novel is established when he is a mere child, watching schoolmaster Richard Phillotson back for his journey to Christminster, and occurs again much later when Jude, now a stone mason, decides to settle in this seat of learning, but is rejected as a student solely on the basis of his class. The Marygreen teacher, Richard Phillotson, leaves the little Dorset village in order to study towards a university degree and become an ordained Church of England clergyman. Moving to Christminster, the university town which Hardy based on Oxford, he thinks, will enable him to attain this goal. Although most of Jude's fellow students are unconcerned about Phillotson's departure, Jude Fawley, an eleven-year-old night student, is upset that the beloved teacher is leaving. Later in the novel, Jude himself goes to Christminster in the mistaken belief that one of the colleges will admit him because of his superior Latin scholarship.
From Part Six, "At Christminster Again"
They turned in on the left by the church with the Italian porch, whose helical columns were heavily draped with creepers, and pursued the lane till there arose on Jude's sight the circular theatre with that well-known lantern above it, which stood in his mind as the sad symbol of his abandoned hopes, for it was from that outlook that he had finally surveyed the City of Colleges on the afternoon of his great meditation, which convinced him at last of the futility of his attempt to be a son of the university.
To-day, in the open space stretching between this building and the nearest college, stood a crowd of expectant people. A passage was kept clear through their midst by two barriers of timber, extending from the door of the college to the door of the large building between it and the theatre.
"Here is the place — they are just going to pass!" cried Jude in sudden excitement. And pushing his way to the front he took up a position close to the barrier, still hugging the youngest child in his arms, while Sue and the others kept immediately behind him. The crowd filled in at their back, and fell to talking, joking, and laughing as carriage after carriage drew up at the lower door of the college, and solemn stately figures in blood-red robes began to alight. The sky had grown overcast and livid, and thunder rumbled now and then.
Father Time shuddered. "It do seem like the Judgment Day!" he whispered.
"They are only learned Doctors," said Sue.
While they waited big drops of rain fell on their heads and shoulders, and the delay grew tedious. Sue again wished not to stay.
"They won't be long now," said Jude, without turning his head.
But the procession did not come forth, and somebody in the crowd, to pass the time, looked at the façade of the nearest college, and said he wondered what was meant by the Latin inscription in its midst. Jude, who stood near the inquirer, explained it, and finding that the people all round him were listening with interest, went on to describe the carving of the frieze (which he had studied years before), and to criticize some details of masonry in other college fronts about the city. — Part Six, Chapter 1, p. 408-409.
A relevant illustration from the 1895 serialisation
Above: William Hatherell's realisation of Jude's demonstration in a public house of his academic prowess, Jude stood up and began rhetorically (March 1895). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
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Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure, ed. Dennis Taylor. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998.
Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. Illustrated by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn. Volume Eight in the Complete Uniform Edition of the Wessex Novels. London: Osgood, McIlvaine, 1897.
Hatherell, William. Illustrations to Thomas Hardy's The Simpletons, afterwards Hearts Insurgent. Harper's New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 through November 1895. Volume XC: pages 2, 203, 365, 566, 737, and 956. Volume XCI: pages 118, 252, 410, 572, 754, and 896.
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Last modified 25 January 2017