xxx xxx

Dr. Candy, much aged; Ezra Jennings and Franklin Blake walking down the street in Frizinghall as they discuss Dr. Candy's wasting illness — uncaptioned illustrations for the "The Story. Second Period, Third Narrative" Chapters 8 and 9 — illustration in the Doubleday (New York) 1946 edition of The Moonstone, p. 340 and facing p. 348. 9.5 by 4.5 cm, and 18.2 by 12.9 cm. Pen-and-ink wood-engraving; chromolithograph. [Although Ezra Jennings' discussion about his mentor's deterioration is useful in establishing his character, as yet he sheds no light upon how Franklin Blake might have stolen the Moonstone while under the influence of a drug administered by Dr. Candy.] 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.]

Passages Illustrated: 1. Dr. Candy, much aged

Having taken the precaution — partly to save time, partly to accommodate Betteredge — of sending my messenger in a fly, I had a reasonable prospect, if no delays occurred, of seeing the old man within less than two hours from the time when I had sent for him. During this interval, I arranged to employ myself in opening my contemplated inquiry, among the guests present at the birthday dinner who were personally known to me, and who were easily within my reach. These were my relatives, the Ablewhites, and Mr. Candy. The doctor had expressed a special wish to see me, and the doctor lived in the next street. So to Mr. Candy I went first.

After what Betteredge had told me, I naturally anticipated finding traces in the doctor's face of the severe illness from which he had suffered. But I was utterly unprepared for such a change as I saw in him when he entered the room and shook hands with me. His eyes were dim; his hair had turned completely grey; his face was wizen; his figure had shrunk. I looked at the once lively, rattlepated, humorous little doctor — associated in my remembrance with the perpetration of incorrigible social indiscretions and innumerable boyish jokes — and I saw nothing left of his former self, but the old tendency to vulgar smartness in his dress. The man was a wreck; but his clothes and his jewellery — in cruel mockery of the change in him — were as gay and as gaudy as ever.

"I have often thought of you, Mr. Blake," he said; "and I am heartily glad to see you again at last. If there is anything I can do for you, pray command my services, sir — pray command my services!"

He said those few commonplace words with needless hurry and eagerness, and with a curiosity to know what had brought me to Yorkshire, which he was perfectly — I might say childishly — incapable of concealing from notice.

With the object that I had in view, I had of course foreseen the necessity of entering into some sort of personal explanation, before I could hope to interest people, mostly strangers to me, in doing their best to assist my inquiry. On the journey to Frizinghall I had arranged what my explanation was to be — and I seized the opportunity now offered to me of trying the effect of it on Mr. Candy.

"I was in Yorkshire, the other day, and I am in Yorkshire again now, on rather a romantic errand," I said. "It is a matter, Mr. Candy, in which the late Lady Verinder's friends all took some interest. You remember the mysterious loss of the Indian Diamond, now nearly a year since? Circumstances have lately happened which lead to the hope that it may yet be found—and I am interesting myself, as one of the family, in recovering it. Among the obstacles in my way, there is the necessity of collecting again all the evidence which was discovered at the time, and more if possible. There are peculiarities in this case which make it desirable to revive my recollection of everything that happened in the house, on the evening of Miss Verinder's birthday. And I venture to appeal to her late mother's friends who were present on that occasion, to lend me the assistance of their memories —"

I had got as far as that in rehearsing my explanatory phrases, when I was suddenly checked by seeing plainly in Mr. Candy’s face that my experiment on him was a total failure. —​"Second Period. Third Narrative Contributed by Franklin Blake" in "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-1849)," Chapter 8, p. 340-341.

Passages Illustrated: 2. Ezra Jennings and Franklin Blake in the High Street of Frizinghall

"Are you walking my way, Mr. Jennings?" I said, observing that he held his hat in his hand. "I am going to call on my aunt, Mrs. Ablewhite."

Ezra Jennings replied that he had a patient to see, and that he was walking my way.

We left the house together. I observed that the pretty servant girl — who was all smiles and amiability, when I wished her good morning on my way out — received a modest little message from Ezra Jennings, relating to the time at which he might be expected to return, with pursed-up lips, and with eyes which ostentatiously looked anywhere rather than look in his face. The poor wretch was evidently no favourite in the house. Out of the house, I had Betteredge's word for it that he was unpopular everywhere. "What a life!" I thought to myself, as we descended the doctor's doorsteps.

Having already referred to Mr. Candy's illness on his side, Ezra Jennings now appeared determined to leave it to me to resume the subject. His silence said significantly, "It's your turn now." I, too, had my reasons for referring to the doctor's illness: and I readily accepted the responsibility of speaking first.

"Judging by the change I see in him," I began, "Mr. Candy's illness must have been far more serious that I had supposed?"

"It is almost a miracle," said Ezra Jennings, "that he lived through it." —​"Second Period. Third Narrative Contributed by Franklin Blake" in "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-1849)," Chapter 9, p. 345.


Dr. Candy initially appears to be the key to reconstructing the events of the evening of 18 June 1848 which led to Franklin Blake's stealing (or, more accurately, removing to safety) the Moonstone from Rachel Verinder's cabinet. Clearly Blake was acting under the influence of some sort of naracotic, and the only person really knowledgable about such drugs (apparently) and present that evening was the local physician, Dr. Candy, who got into an argument with Franklin Blake over dinner about the efficacy of Western medicine. However, when Franklin Blake discovers that Dr. Candy has subsequently suffered a physical and mental breakdown that has severely impaired his memory, access to the necessary information seems denied. However, Ezra Jennings, Candy's medical assistant, has taken careful notes from Dr. Candy's delirious ravings that may lead to Franklin Blake's discovering under the influence of what drug he was acting.

In the original Harper's Weekly illustrations by William Jewett and "C. B.," both Dr. Candy and Ezra Jennings are featured prominently at this stage of the narrative, Candy as a wreck of his former self in the 27 June 1868 wood-engraving "He started impulsively to his feet and looked at me" (p. 405). Ezra Jennings, whose forensic knowledge of drugs proves crucial in reconstructing the events that led to Franklin Blake's removing the Moonstone, appears a number of times in the later numbers of the weekly serial, a young man old before his time and a brilliant mind impaired by a decaying body.

Relevant Plates from the 1868 Edition

Left: The American serial's 27 June 1868 study of the decrepit Dr. Candy, "He started impulsively to his feet and looked at me" (p. 405). Centre: Dr. Jennings' interrogating Franklin Blake about his exposure to some form of heroin such as Laudanum, a derivative widely used in the Victorian period as a palliative, "Have you ever been accustomed to the use of opium?" (4 July 1868, p. 421). Right: Ezra Jennings prepares the laudanum experiment: "I found Ezra Jennings ready and waiting for me." (11 July 1868, p. 437). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


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.

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.

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 28 November 2016