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
- He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church, frontispiece ***
- Uncaptioned title-page vignette, Marley's Ghost ***
- Marley and the Three Spirits ***
- Headpiece Stave 1: Scrooge and the beggar — "No beggars implored him to bestow a little"***
- Bob Cratchit: "...tried to warm himself at the candle" ***
- Tailpiece to Stave 1: Jacob Marley***
- Headpiece to Stave Two, "... a lonely boy was reading" ***
- ". . . administered instalments of the dainties" to young Scrooge and Fan
- Headpiece to Stave Three, "Oh, a wonderful pudding!"
- ". . . a corner whence there was no escape"
- Headpiece for Stave Four: "No," said a great fat man, "I only know he's dead"
- "What do you call this?" said Joe"
- Full-page colour lithograph: Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went
- Headpiece for Stave Five, "It was a Turkey!"
- "I am about to raise your salary!"
- Book-board: turkey motif
- Dust-jacket: He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church
*** = essays containing image and commentary]
The Cricket on the Hearth
- Frontispiece: John, Dot, the Baby, domestic realia — the cricket
- Headpiece for "Chirp the First": John returns home
- . . . an obtrusive interest in the baby (Tilly, Boxer, and Baby)
- "That's the way I found him, sitting by the roadside"
- Headpiece for "Chirp the First": "I see you, father," she said
- "Where are your gay young bridegrooms now!"
- . . . infallible domestic recipes and precepts
- "An't he beautiful, John?"
- . . . saw her . . . adjust the Lie upon his head
- Headpiece for "Chirp the Third": John by the hearth with the Fairy
- "Do you recollect the voice, dear Caleb?"
- ". . . but as she has been there once, this morning, perhaps you'll excuse her"
- Tailpiece: Caleb and Tilly dancing
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