Charles Edmund Brock (1870-1938)​
Decorated initial T

The brother of well-known fin de siècle​ illustrator Henry Matthew Brock (illustrator of the Gresham Imperial edition volume of Great Expectations, 1901-3), Charles Edmund Brock was a widely published English line artist​ and book illustrator, who signed his work "C. E. Brock."​Noted for the quality of his line drawings in the manner of the early Victorian illustrators, he was the eldest of four artist brothers, sons of a specialist reader in oriental languages for Cambridge University Press. With his better known brother, H. M., Charles Edward, and Richard Brock shared a studio, in which they gathered eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artefacts and curios to use in their drawings,​paintings, and book illustrations. ​Having trained in the studio of Henry Wiles, their careers began in the early 1890s at Macmillan. Like his brother, E. C. Brock contributed to Punch, but Charles Edmund was also a recognized painter in oils. Moreover, he illustrated Dickens's Christmas Books — A Christmas Carol, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Haunted Man, and The Battle of Life, as well as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, various novels by Jane Austen, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, Thomas Hood's poems, Lamb's essays, volumes of Greek and Norse myths, and the Bible.

Although John Leech, Dickens's original Carol illustrator, did not make much of the Cratchits, depicting Bob just once, in the tailpiece, later illustrators have recognized the importance of Cratchit family values in this tale of redemption and social reintegration. Here, Brock depicts Mrs. Cratchit's serving her culinary triumph, the wonderful Christmas pudding, to the manifold compliments of her adoring family. Although his visualisations are often congruent with those of Leech, Brock depicts Scrooge as a late-nineteenth-century capitalist.​— Philip V. Allingham

A Christmas Carol

The Cricket on the Hearth

Bibliography

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the Hearth. Illustrated by C. E. [Charles Edmund] Brock. London: J. M. Dent, 1905; New York: Dutton, rpt., 1963.


Created 21 May 2015