Bound in a web

Bound in a web

Christiana Hammond

Photomechanical reproduction of pen and ink drawing.

4½ x 3½ inches

W.M.Thackeray.Vanity Fair, Facing p. 28.

This illustration shows Becky beguiling Jos – a spider enwrapping her victim in the web of a cat’s cradle. The growing intimacy between the characters is suggested by their physical closeness. Once again, the artist’s cool depiction of the scene invests it with physical and psychological immediacy; it is radically different from Thackeray’s comedic treatment in the first edition of 1847 and implies the social sophistication that is lacking from the author’s cartoon.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

[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.]