The 1910-12 "Centenary" thirty-six volume edition published jointly by Chapman and Hall, London, and Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, was intended to mark the centenary of Charles Dickens's birth. It was illustrated by such new hands as Marcus Stone, James Mahoney, Fred Walker, F. A. Fraser, Harry French, Townley Green, and Charles Green, the engraving work having been executed by E. G. Dalziel. Mahoney was also involved in Chapman and Hall's 1871-75 initiative to issue a wholly new edition of Dickens's works, to be illustrated entirely by new hands, the lead illustrator being Fred Barnard.
James Mahoney (1810-79) ARHA, born in Cork, the son of a joiner, worked as a graphic artist in his native Ireland until 1859, when he moved to London, where freelanced as a book- and magazine-illustrator. He had been well-known to British readers not for his watercolours, exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy (1842-6), but for his telling images of the Irish Famine (1841-46) published in The Illustrated London News and based on on-the-ground sketches Mahoney made in Clonakilty and Skibbereen in West Cork. From age 50 until his sudden death from apoplexy, Mahoney exhibited watercolours at the Royal Academy while continuing to work for with The Illustrated London News both as a draughtsman and an illustrator, and for several other London journals and newspapers. In terms of his commissions to illustrate books, he is best remembered for his work on the team that illustrated the Household Edition of Charles Dickens's works.
Mahoney's initial-signature used in his illustrations
Christmas Stories from Household Words and All The Year Round
Novels published in the Household Edition (1871-1875)
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
(1871), volume 1 from the Household Edition, 28
Little Dorrit (1873), volume 3 of
the Household Edition, 58 wood-engravings
Our Mutual Friend (1875) from the
Household Edition, 58 wood-engravings
Dickens, Charles. The Adventures of Oliver Twist. The Household Edition. Volume 1. London: Chapman and Hall, 1871.
Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. The Household Edition. Volume 5. London: Chapman and Hall, 1873.
Dickens, Charles. Our Mutual Friend. The Household Edition. Volume 9. London: Chapman and Hall, 1875.
“James Mahoney,” Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art. Viewed 1 September 2010.
Last modified 20 June 2016