by Thomas Nast (1873), Chapter XXVII, p. 159.
The illustration appears in the American Edition of Charles Dickens's The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club, Chapter XXVII, "Samuel Weller makes a pilgrimage to Dorking, and beholds his mother-in-law," page 159. Wood-engraving, 3 ⅝ inches high by 5 ¼ inches wide (9.2 cm high by 13.5 cm wide), framed, half-page; referencing text on the same page; descriptive headline: "The Deputy Shepherd." New York: Harper & Bros., Franklin Square, 1873 (there is no equivalent illustration in 1836-37 Chapman and Hall serial).
Context of the Illustration: Introducing the Hypocritical Nonconformist Minister
The fire was blazing brightly under the influence of the bellows, and the kettle was singing gaily under the influence of both. A small tray of tea-things was arranged on the table; a plate of hot buttered toast was gently simmering before the fire; and the red-nosed man himself was busily engaged in converting a large slice of bread into the same agreeable edible, through the instrumentality of a long brass toasting-fork. Beside him stood a glass of reeking hot pine-apple rum-and-water, with a slice of lemon in it; and every time the red-nosed man stopped to bring the round of toast to his eye, with the view of ascertaining how it got on, he imbibed a drop or two of the hot pine-apple rum-and-water, and smiled upon the rather stout lady, as she blew the fire.
Sam was so lost in the contemplation of this comfortable scene, that he suffered the first inquiry of the rather stout lady to pass unheeded. It was not until it had been twice repeated, each time in a shriller tone, that he became conscious of the impropriety of his behaviour.
"Governor in?" inquired Sam, in reply to the question.
"No, he isn't," replied Mrs. Weller; for the rather stout lady was no other than the quondam relict and sole executrix of the dead-and-gone Mr. Clarke; "no, he isn't, and I don't expect him, either." [Chapter XXVII, "Samuel Weller makes a pilgrimage to Dorking, and beholds his mother-in-law," page 159]
Commentary: The Reverend Stiggins — The Hypocrite Whom Readers Love to Revile
Mr. Stiggins (1910) by Kyd. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Nast employs the scene in the Marquis of Granby, a tavern in Surrey, to introduce the comic subplot involving the Reverend Stiggins, a hypocritical Nonconformist minister and Sam Weller's stepmother ("mother-in-law," as Sam calls her). From this point onward, Stiggins largely replaces confidence man Alfred Jingle as the principal antagonist of the novel. Stiggins appears twice more in Nast's sequence; Trotter and his devious master, Jingle, not at all, whereas in the original serial sequence Phiz presents him in a significant recognition scene as a ragged beggar in The Discovery of Jingle in the Fleet (Chapter 34).
Dickens ridicules Stiggins as "the red-nosed man," making it relatively easy for illustrators to depict an obvious alcoholic in clerical garb. Whereas Dickens has created his initial antagonist Jingle as lovable rogue, he treats the "deputy shepherd" of Dorking's Emmanuel Chapel as thoroughly despicable. That the second Mrs. Weller constantly expresses her devotion to the dissenting preacher implies her lack of perception. Susan Weller should recognise Stiggins for the lush that he is since the minister spends so much of his time eating and drinking at her expense. Tony, Sam's father, plots to render Stiggins incapable of conducting the next meeting of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association.
Left: The August 1837 serial instalment of the novel gave later illustrators a caricatural model for the alcoholic minister in Phiz's The Red-nosed Man Discourseth. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Dickens continues to deploy him as a figure of fun when Stiggins, discoursing ironically on the virtues of temperance, and the devoted Mrs. Weller visit her stepson and his master in the Fleet Prison in Chapter 45. Dickens and Phiz climax this satirical "methodistical" plot in the farcical scene at the public house's water-trough, where Tony Weller ducks Stiggins after Susan Weller's death. Nast renders this moment a comic climax in Resumes his kicking with greater agility than before in Chapter 52, the last of the six chapters in which the reprobate affords considerable character comedy.
Stiggins by Dickens's other illustrators, 1867 and 1910
Left: Sol Eytinge, Jr.'s Diamond Edition characterisation of the dissenting minister, "The Rev. Mr. Stiggins and Mrs. Weller (1867). Right: Harry Furniss's portrait, not attached to any particular passage: Stiggins, but clearly referring to the minister's recent visit to The Marquis of Granby (1910). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
Other artists who illustrated this work, 1836-1910
- Robert Seymour (1836)
- Hablot Knight Brown (1836-37)
- Felix Octavius Carr Darley (1861)
- Sol Eytinge, Jr. (1867)
- Hablot Knight Browne (1874)
- A selected list of illustrations by Harry Furniss for the Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910)
- Clayton J. Clarke's Extra Illustration for Player's Cigarettes (1910)
- Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (homepage)
- Nast’s Pickwick illustrations
- The complete list of illustrations by Seymour and Phiz for the original edition
- The complete list of illustrations by Phiz for the Household Edition
- An introduction to the Household Edition (1871-79)
Cohen, Jane Rabb. Charles Dickens and His Original Illustrators. Columbus: Ohio State U. P., 1980.
Dickens, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Illustrated by Robert Seymour and Hablot Knight Browne. London: Chapman & Hall, 1836-37.
Dickens, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. Engraved by A. V. S. Anthony. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
Dickens, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. The Household Edition. Illustrated by Thomas Nast. New York: Harper and Brothers 1873.
Dickens, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. The Household Edition. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ('Phiz'). The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1874.
Dickens, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. The Household Edition. Edited by J. A. Hammerton. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.
Last modified 14 December 2019