Alfred S. Pearse's Seven Illustrations for The Moonstone (from the 1910 Collins Clear-Type edition)

Philip V. Allingham, Professor Emeritus, Lakehead University

Alfred Pearse: Cartoonist, Illustrator, and Advocate of Women's Rights (1845-1933)

English cartoonist, illustrator, and vigorous campaigner for women's equality, Alfred Pearse (1855–1933), who also signed himself as "A Patriot," was a fourth generation artist and son of celebrated decorative artist J. S. Pearse. Formally trained, he attended the West London School of Art, winning many prizes for his drawing. At the turn of the century, Alfred Pearse, now an established artist, was also regularly published in The Illustrated London News, the Boy's Own Paper, and the illustrated magazine of London humour Punch. Besides designing campaign posters advocating women's suffrage, Pearse composed a weekly cartoon for Votes for Women from 1909, and, with Laurence Housman, set up the Suffrage Atelier. In the next decade, Pearse produced various artworks, cartoons, and propaganda supporting British and her allies in World War One. He was not merely a competent wood engraver and solid book illustrator; he also acted as art critic for the Manchester Guardian.

Seven Illustrations for The Moonstone in the Collins Clear Type Edition (1910)

Published serially without illustration in All the Year Round (4 Jan.-8 August) and Harper's Weekly (with 63 illustrations) and then in the Tinsley Brothers' unillustrated three-volume format on 16 July 1868, The Moonstone was adapted by Collins for the stage in 1877, having a two-month run, at the Royal Olympic Theatre from 17 September to 17 November. The Moonstone, illustrated by Alfred S. Pearse (London & Glasgow: Collins, 1910, rpt. 1930) contains seven highly realistic illustrations that may reflect the story's theatrical history. These lithographs are in the fin-de-siecle style of magazine illustration in that Pearse consistently focuses on small groups of characters and describes them in a realistic rather than a caricatural vein.

  • "He felt himself suddenly seized round the neck." (Frontispiece) See page 279; refers to Chapter 1, Second Period, First Narrative, "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-49)."
  • "'Exquisite! exquisite!'" Facing p. 129. See page 97; refers to Chapter 9 in "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)." Narrative by Gabriel Betteredge.
  • "'I suppose you know that you are treading on dangerous ground?'" Facing p. 160. See page 173; refers to Chapter 14, in "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)." Narrative by Gabriel Betteredge.
  • "'I won't even rise from my knees till you have said yes!'" Facing p. 353. See Page 333; refers to Chapter 5, in Second Period, First Narrative, "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-49)."
  • "'Excuse my asking one question.'" Facing p. 384. See page 389; refers to Chapter 2, Second Period, Second Narrative, "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-49)."
  • "'You coward!' she said." Facing p. 449. See page 477; refers to Chapter 7, Second Period, Third Narrative, "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-49)."
  • "He took the mock Diamond." Facing p. 312. See page 595; refers to Second Period, Fourth Narrative, "Extracted from the Journal of Ezra Jennings."
  • Related Materials


    Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. with sixty-six illustrations. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization. Vol. 12 (1868), 4 January through 8 August, pp. 5-503.

    ________. The Moonstone: A Romance. All the Year Round. 1 January-8 August 1868.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With 19 illustrations. New York & London: Harper and Brothers, 1868, rpt. 1874.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by George Du Maurier and F. A. Fraser. London: Chatto and Windus, 1890.

    _________. The Moonstone, Parts One and Two. The Works of Wilkie Collins, vols. 5 and 6. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With four illustrations by John Sloan. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by A. S. Pearse. London & Glasgow: Collins, 1910, rpt. 1930.

    _________. The Moonstone. With forty-nine illustrations by William Sharp. New York: Doubleday, 1946.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With nine illustrations by Edwin La Dell. London: Folio Society, 1951.

    Farmer, Steve. "Introduction" to Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 1999. Pp. 8-34.

    Leighton, Mary Elizabeth, and Lisa Surridge. "The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly." Victorian Periodicals Review Volume 42, Number 3 (Fall 2009): pp. 207-243. Accessed 1 July 2016.

    Lonoff, Sue. Chapter 7: "The Moonstone and Its Audience." Wilkie Collins and His Readers: A Study in the Rhetoric of Authorship. New York: AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, 1982. Pp. 170-227.

    Nayder, Lillian. Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, & Victorian Authorship. London and Ithaca, NY: Cornll U. P., 2001.

    Peters, Catherine. The King of the Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins. London: Minerva, 1991.

    Reed, John R. "English Imperialism and the Unacknowledged crime of The Moonstone. Clio 2, 3 (June, 1973): 281-290.

    Robinson, Kenneth. "Chapter 12: 'The Moonstone'." Wilkie Collins: A Biography London: The Bodley Head, 1951. Pp. 200-224.

    Stewart, J. I. M. "A Note on Sources." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 527-8.

    Created 9 September 2016

    Last updated 21 October 2021