Initial “W”

W.M. Thackeray


Wood engraving, probably by Joseph Swain

2 ½ x 1½ inches

Illustration for Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, p.232.

One of the initials’ recurring motifs is children playing. The image here at the opening of “In which Amelia Joins Her Regiment” combines childhood innocence and the imagery of clowns and jesters. The delicate perching on an elaborate pair of stilts what doubles for a ‘W’ is emblematic of Amelia’s social balancing-act.

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.]