The Moonstone, p. 222. 8.8 x 10.7 cm. [Distraught by her mother's worsening illness and confused by Franklin Blake's behaviour after the theft of the Moonstone, Rachel Verinder reluctantly agrees to marry the devious Godfrey Ablewhite, who gradually emerges as a scheming Collinsian villain.] 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.]— uncaptioned vignette for the "The Story. Second Period," Chapter 5 — twenty-third illustration in the Doubleday (New York) 1946 edition of
"Godfrey!" she said, "you must be mad!"
"I never spoke more reasonably, dearest — in your interests, as well as in mine. Look for a moment to the future. Is your happiness to be sacrificed to a man who has never known how you feel towards him, and whom you are resolved never to see again? Is it not your duty to yourself to forget this ill-fated attachment? and is forgetfulness to be found in the life you are leading now? You have tried that life, and you are wearying of it already. Surround yourself with nobler interests than the wretched interests of the world. A heart that loves and honours you; a home whose peaceful claims and happy duties win gently on you day by day —try the consolation, Rachel, which is to be found there! I don't ask for your love —I will be content with your affection and regard. Let the rest be left, confidently left, to your husband's devotion, and to Time that heals even wounds as deep as yours."
She began to yield already. Oh, what a bringing-up she must have had! Oh, how differently I should have acted in her place!
"Don't tempt me, Godfrey," she said; "I am wretched enough and reckless enough as it is. Don't tempt me to be more wretched and more reckless still!"
"One question, Rachel. Have you any personal objection to me?"
"I! I always liked you. After what you have just said to me, I should be insensible indeed if I didn't respect and admire you as well."
"Do you know many wives, my dear Rachel, who respect and admire their husbands? And yet they and their husbands get on very well. How many brides go to the altar with hearts that would bear inspection by the men who take them there? And yet it doesn't end unhappily — somehow or other the nuptial establishment jogs on. The truth is, that women try marriage as a Refuge, far more numerously than they are willing to admit; and, what is more, they find that marriage has justified their confidence in it. Look at your own case once again. At your age, and with your attractions, is it possible for you to sentence yourself to a single life? Trust my knowledge of the world —nothing is less possible. It is merely a question of time. You may marry some other man, some years hence. Or you may marry the man, dearest, who is now at your feet, and who prizes your respect and admiration above the love of any other woman on the face of the earth."
"Gently, Godfrey! you are putting something into my head which I never thought of before. You are tempting me with a new prospect, when all my other prospects are closed before me. I tell you again, I am miserable enough and desperate enough, if you say another word, to marry you on your own terms. Take the warning, and go!"
"I won't even rise from my knees, till you have said yes!"
"If I say yes you will repent, and I shall repent, when it is too late!"
"We shall both bless the day, darling, when I pressed, and when you yielded." —"Second Period, First Narrative," in "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)." Contributed by Miss Clack, Niece of the late Sir John Verinder. Chapter 5, p. 222-223.
Godfrey Abelwhite is in trouble, financially and legally. Having stolen Rachel Verinder's diamond (although she believes Franklin Blake to be the culprit), Godfrey has pawned it to meet immediately financial difficulties attendant upon his maintaining a "hidden life" with a mistress and a villa he cannot afford. Collins has already hinted that Godfrey has approached his father, a banker, for assistance, but that (to judge from his downcast demeanour at the birthday dinner) his father has refused. For the moment, the money he has obtained from pawning the Moonstone is keeping his private life afloat; however, he needs a long-term solution. Marrying Rachel would effectively afford him such a solution since as her husband he would control her vast fortune at the time that the action is set, 1848. However much (or little) about English laws with respect to female property rights in the nineteenth century Sharp would have known, nevertheless he gives Godfrey an expression hardly indicative of romantic devotion. Rather, he seems to be going through the motions; Rachel, on the other hand, seems genuinely distraught, and pulls away from her cousin, even as she considers his proposal in this cluttered Victorian parlour, furnished in a manner not particularly mid-nineteenth-century.
Relevant Illustrations Involving The Proposal from the 1868 Serial and the 1910 Edition.
Left: The serial illustration of the proposal in the 25 April 1868 issue of Harper's Weekly, "May modesty mention that he put his arms around her next?" (page 261). Right: Rachel reluctantly hears Godfrey's suit, "I won't even rise from my knees till you have said yes!" (1910). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
- The Moonstone and British India (1857, 1868, and 1876)
- Detection and Disruption inside and outside the 'quiet English home' in The Moonstone
- Introduction to the Sixty-six Harper's Weekly Illustrations for The Moonstone (1868)
- The Harper's Weekly Illustrations for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone (1868)
- George Du Maurier, "Do you think a young lady's advice worth having?" — p. 94.
- Illustrations by F. A. Fraser for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1890)
- Illustrations by John Sloan for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1908)
- 1910 illustrations by Alfred Pearse for The Moonstone.
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.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. All the Year Round. 1 January-8 August 1868.
_________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With many illustrations. First edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, [July] 1868.
_________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With 19 illustrations. Second edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1874.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by George Du Maurier and F. A. Fraser. London: Chatto and Windus, 1890.
_________. The Moonstone. With 19 illustrations. The Works of Wilkie Collins. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900. Volumes 6 and 7.
_________. 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. Illustrated by William Sharp. New York: Doubleday, 1946.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With nine illustrations by Edwin La Dell. London: Folio Society, 1951.
Karl, Frederick R. "Introduction." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Scarborough, Ontario: Signet, 1984. Pp. 1-21.
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. http://englishnovel2.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/files/2014/01/42.3.leighton-moonstone-serializatation.pdf
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.
Richardson, Betty. "Prisons and Prison Reform." Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia, ed. Sally Mitchell. London and New York: Garland, 1988. Pp. 638-640.
Stewart, J. I. M. "Introduction." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 7-24.
Stewart, J. I. M. "A Note on Sources." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 527-8.
Vann, J. Don. "The Moonstone in All the Year Round, 4 January-8 1868." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: Modern Language Association, 1985. Pp. 48-50.
Winter, William. "Wilkie Collins." Old Friends: Being Literary Recollections of Other Days. New York: Moffat, Yard, & Co., 1909. Pp. 203-219.
Last updated 20 October 2016