M. H. Spielmann reviewed Walter Paget's extensive program of illustrations for Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" in the Magazine of Fine Art, No. 5, in 1892 — a quality periodical published by Cassell.
The Illustrations for Part I (The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe)
- Frontispiece: "This was game indeed."
- Unlisted Tailpiece: Crusoe and Poll
- Uncaptioned Headpiece: Crusoe on the Beach
- "'You're but a fresh-water sailor.'"
- "We walked on foot to Yarmouth."
- "Surprised in the grey of the morning"
- "I proved very dexterous."
- "'If you come near the boat, I'll shoot you.'"
- "We filled our jars."
- "I bought me a Negro slave."
- "Looking over the charts."
- "We hastened our destruction with our own hands."
- "I was now landed."
- "Shoes that were not fellows."
- "I espied a small piece of rope."
- "I fell fast asleep."
- "A confused screaming and crying."
- "The kid followed me."
- "I wanted nothing that he could fetch me."
- "They all faced about upon the dog."
- "A kind of wild pigeons."
- "I was surprised and perfectly astonished."
- "Grinding my tools."
- "I caught a young dolphin."
- "A large tortoise, or turtle."
- "Broiled it on the coals."
- "I went up the creek first."
- "I sowed my grain."
- "I descend a little on the side of that delicious valley."
- "I knocked it down with a stick."
- "An infinite number of fowls."
- "I fired again."
- "I hanged them in chains."
- "What odd, misshapen, ugly things I made."
- "I resolved to dig into the surface of the earth."
- "I made me a suit of clothes."
- "I brought it into the creek."
- "I fell on my knees."
- "How like a king I dined."
- "I stood like one thunderstruck."
- "I had my country seat."
- "My evening diversion."
- "A place where there had been a fire made."
- "To see if I could observe any boats."
- "I stirred him a little."
- "A light of some fire upon the shore."
- "The corpse of a drowned boy."
- "Began to examine the particulars."
- "Dancing round the fire."
- "I was then obliged to shoot."
- "At one blow cut off his head."
- "I presented my piece."
- "I entered into a long discourse."
- "Upon seeing the boat, Friday stood musing a great while."
- "Inch by inch upon the great rollers."
- "In this posture we marched out."
- "I fired again among the amazed wretches."
- "I made directly towards the poor victim."
- "Wringing my sword out of his hand."
- "My eye plainly discovered a ship lying at an anchor."
- "'What are ye, gentlemen?'"
- "They begged for mercy."
- "Shot the new captain through the head."
- "He made Robinson hail them."
- "I showed them the new captain hanging at the yard-arm of the ship."
- "Upon this he pulls out an old pouch."
- "Two of the wolves flew upon the guide."
- "'What, you come no farther?'"
- "They came upon us with a growling kind of noise."
The Illustrations for Part II (The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe)
- "I farmed upon my own land."
- "It was all to no purpose."
- "The ship blew up."
- "The mate brought six men with him."
- "I found the poor men on board almost in a tumult."
- "I came fair on the south side of my island."
- "'Do you not know me?'"
- "Bade them stand off."
- "With one blow of his fist knocked him down."
- "They came up in a very submissive, humble manner."
- "They were surprised with seeing a light."
- "Indians just coming on shore."
- "Placed himself between him and the savage."
- "Three strange men coming towards him."
- "Drew lots among them."
- "Three savages left behind, and lying fast asleep."
- "All their huts and household stuff flaming up together."
- "Came ranging along the shore."
- "Despatched these poor creatures."
- "Ate their provisions very thankfully."
- "In this great bee-hive lived the three families."
- "We made a splendid feast."
- "Made everyone a light coat."
- "We walked on."
- "Made me a very low bow."
- "They all came to me."
- "Atkins and his tawny wife."
- "We called him in alone."
- "Made her kneel by him."
- "We married them the same day."
- "I have brought you an assistant."
- "Giving them a salute of five guns."
- "Gave them such a broadside."
- "Killed poor Friday."
- "We gave them a volley."
- "The cow went on before them."
- "He showed me the poor fellow hanging."
- "Comes to me one day an Englishman."
- "Could see the boats at a distance."
- "They hauled her sail."
- "'Well done, Jack! Give them some more of it.'"
- "A boat came off."
- "Brought abundance of things to sell."
- "He came to me with one of the missionary priests."
- "As soon as they saw us, one of them blew a kind of horn."
- "Killed the second with his pistol."
- "Two of them seized the fellow and took the camel."
- "Sent three messengers to us."
- "Brought us in fine venison."
- Uncaptioned Tailpiece: "I embarked in the packet."
- Book cover: "Crusoe and the Footprint: 'I stood like one thunderstruck.'"
Although this 1891 edition represents an artistic and technological
updating of the Cassell, Petter, and Galpin volume of 1863-64, in a number of respects it
departs from the earlier text, which a team of artists illustrated using composite
woodblock engravings. These illustrators included Percy William Justyne (1812-1883),
William Leighton Leitch (1804-1883), Percy Macquoid (1852-1925), Matt Sommervile Morgan
(1839-90), James Abbott Pasquier, and
George Housman Thomas. Although a single artist did
not compose the 104 illustrations, taken as a series these possessa remarkable
consistency of approach, the majority being large-scale, half-page or full-page
engravings. The 1891 book represents an advance in that it is the work of a singlegifted
artist, the Thomas Hardy illustrator
and draughtsman Walter Paget (1863-1935).However, the mode of illustrationthen in vogue
(the lithograph) produces plates that, despite their photographic appearance, are simply
not as sharp. Moreover, the majority of Paget's illustrations are relatively small in
scale: only thirteen are full-page. Paget's other large-format commissions for Cassell
from this period include Robert Louis
M. H. Spielmann in The Magazine of Art (No. 5) hailed the publication of the new edition as "an event of real importance" (p. 48), and asserted that Paget's work amounted to "the high-water mark" of all illustrated editions produced since 1719, including even the John Major edition of 1831, illustrated by George Cruikshank.
His composition, nearly always good, is sufficiently unconventional to be invariably fresh; his power of expression, characterisation, and grouping is unfailing; his facility of execution, refreshing; and his knowledge of costume and accessory, consummate. Thus equipped, he scarcely could go wrong, and aided by his gift of assimilating the spirit of the author, has produced the remarkable series of drawings, of which a few, taken at random, are here set before the reader. [p. 51]
An interesting feature of the 1891 Cassell edition is that its editor in each case (but for the uncaptioned thumbnails) has indicated the page of the text represented by the lithograph, even if the passage illustrated is actually on the same page. However, the difference is usually two or three pages, so that, for example, the full caption on page 277 for "All their huts and household stuff flaming up together" adds "(p. 273).
- Daniel Defoe
- Illustrations of Robinson Crusoe by various artists
- Illustrations of children’s editions
- The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe il. H. M. Brock at Project Gutenberg
- The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe at Project Gutenberg
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Of York, Mariner. As Related by himself. With upwards of One Hundred Illustrations. London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, 1863-64.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Exciting Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner, as Related by Himself. With 120 original illustrations by Walter Paget. London, Paris,and Melbourne: Cassell, 1891.
Spielmann, Marion Harry. "The New 'Robinson Crusoe'." The Magazine of Art No. 5 (1892): 47-51.
Last modified 22 April 2018