As he passed them he kissed them in succession where they stood, saying "Good-bye" to each as he did so. by D. A. Wehrschmidt. Plate 2 from the weekly serialisation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the Durbervilles in the London Graphic, 10 October. [Clare, Tess, and the maids on Crick's porch, Ch. XXXIII, p. 421]. Format: half-page, horizontal: 16 cm high x 24.4 cm wide (6 ½ inches high by 9 ¾ inches wide. [Click on the illustration to enlarge it.] N. B. J. Don Vann shows Chapter XXXIII as split between the October 3rd and 10th instalments; "Part 13 ends halfway through chapter 33 with the paragraph beginning 'The hurry of dressing and starting left no time for more than this'." (89) Thus, the moment realised in the illustration in the volume on page 275 is nowhere near the curtains of the chapters that constitute the thirteenth serial instalment for today's readers of the novel.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [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.]

Passage Illustrated: Departure for the Honeymoon on Tess's Wedding Day

Afternoon came, and with it the hour for departure. They had decided to fulfil the plan of going for a few days to the lodgings in the old farmhouse near Wellbridge Mill, at which he meant to reside during his investigation of flour processes. At two o’clock there was nothing left to do but to start. All the servantry of the dairy were standing in the red-brick entry to see them go out, the dairyman and his wife following to the door. Tess saw her three chamber-mates in a row against the wall, pensively inclining their heads. She had much questioned if they would appear at the parting moment; but there they were, stoical and staunch to the last. She knew why the delicate Retty looked so fragile, and Izz so tragically sorrowful, and Marian so blank; and she forgot her own dogging shadow for a moment in contemplating theirs. She impulsively whispered to him —

“Will you kiss ’em all, once, poor things, for the first and last time?”

Clare had not the least objection to such a farewell formality — which was all that it was to him — and as he passed them he kissed them in succession where they stood, saying “Goodbye” to each as he did so. When they reached the door Tess femininely glanced back to discern the effect of that kiss of charity; there was no triumph in her glance, as there might have been. If there had it would have disappeared when she saw how moved the girls all were. The kiss had obviously done harm by awakening feelings they were trying to subdue. [Chapter XXXIII, p. 421, column 3; in the 1897 volume edition, Phase the Fourth, "The Consequence," pp. 278-279]

Commentary: Angel Acknowledges the Runners-up

The reader of the serial is vaguely aware that something in Tess's prior relationship with "kinsman" Alec D'Urberille is likely to cause trouble for her when she marries "the man above her station," Angel Clare. In this, the first of two illustrations for the October 10th instalment, the fourteenth in the overall program and Wehrschmidt's fourth, the illustrator reveals the immediate consequences of Angel's relentless romantic pursuit of Tess. The viewer "reads" the illustration ahead of reading the text realised below, and therefore is immediately aware from the juxtaposition of figures and the caption that the wedding planned in the previous instalment has occurred. In this Saturday's instalment of the Graphic the artist shifts the viewer's or reader's attention away from the clash between Tess's devotion and doubts towards the moral rightness of her acceding to Angel's proposal.

As Angel turns away from the viewer, whose stance is that of a bystander such as one of the farm-labourers, to kiss the first three maids, the picture emphasizes the feelings of Izz, Marian, and Retty, who suffer stoically the marriage of the object of their infatuations. Wehrschmidt makes each look not so much "staunch" (XXXIII: 421) as "fragile," "sorrowful," and "blank." Whereas Hardy has particularized each young woman by ascribing to each a slightly different emotional response to the wedding and the departure of the bride and groom, the artist renders them as a chorus of romantic sorrow. In the wooden figure of Tess, denoted by her dark travelling dress and fashionable gloves, the viewer detects no sign of the impulsive sympathy that has prompted her to suggest to her new husband that kiss of the the "poor things" for their "first and last time" in recognition of the disappointment that hangs over them. Perhaps the adjectival phrase "so tragically sorrowful" has moved Wehrschmidt to give all the faces in the illustration a mask-like impassivity.

Note: Another illustration in this issue, and the one in the following week's issue, are by different illustrators. For the full sequence, please consult the complete list of illustrations.


Allingham, Philip V. "The Original Illustrations for Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles Drawn by Daniel A. Wehrschmidt, Ernest Borough-Johnson, and Joseph Sydall for the Graphic (1891)." The Thomas Hardy Year Book, No. 24 (1997): 3-50.

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D'Urbervilles in the Graphic, 1891, 4 July-26 December, pp. 11-761.

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman. Vol. I. The Wessex Novels. London: Osgood, McIlvaine, 1897.

Jackson, Arlene M. Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1981.

Feltes, Norman N. "Lateral Advance: Tess and the Necessities of Magazine Publication." Modes of Production of Victorian Novels. Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1986, pp. 57-75.

Vann, J. Don. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles in the Graphic, 4 July 26 — December 1891." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: MLA, 1985, pp. 88-89.

Created 5 December 2000

Last modified 9 May 2024