The brother of well-known fin de siècleillustrator Henry Matthew Brock (illustrator of the Gresham Imperial edition volume of Great Expectations, 1901-3), Charles Edmund Brock was a widely published English line artist and book illustrator, who signed his work "C. E. Brock."Noted for the quality of his line drawings in the manner of the early Victorian illustrators, he was the eldest of four artist brothers, sons of a specialist reader in oriental languages for Cambridge University Press. With his better known brother, H. M., Charles Edward, and Richard Brock shared a studio, in which they gathered eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artefacts and curios to use in their drawings,paintings, and book illustrations. Having trained in the studio of Henry Wiles, their careers began in the early 1890s at Macmillan. Like his brother, E. C. Brock contributed to Punch, but Charles Edmund was also a recognized painter in oils. Moreover, he illustrated Dickens's Christmas Books — A Christmas Carol, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Haunted Man, and The Battle of Life, as well as an edition of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, various novels by Jane Austen, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Oliver Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, Thomas Hood's poems, Lamb's essays, volumes of Greek and Norse myths, and the Bible.
Although John Leech, Dickens's original Carol illustrator, did not make much of the Cratchits, depicting Bob just once, in the tailpiece, later illustrators in general and Brock in particular have recognized the importance of Cratchit family values in this tale of redemption and social reintegration. Here, Brock depicts Mrs. Cratchit's serving her culinary triumph, the wonderful Christmas pudding, to the manifold compliments of her adoring family. Although his visualisations are often congruent with those of Leech, Brock consistently depicts the characters in a naturalistic rather than caricatural vein, and emphasizes the presence of children in five of the sixteen plates that graph Scrooge's spiritual and social redemption.
A Christmas Carol (1905)
- He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church, frontispiece
- Uncaptioned title-page vignette, Marley's Ghost
- Marley and the Three Spirits
- Headpiece Stave 1: Scrooge and the beggar — No beggars implored him to bestow a little
- Bob Cratchit: ...tried to warm himself at the candle
- Tailpiece to Stave 1
- Headpiece to Stave Two, ... a lonely boy was reading
- . . . administered instalments of the dainties [to young Scrooge and Fan]
- Headpiece to Stave Three — Oh, a wonderful pudding!
- . . . a corner whence there was no escape
- Headpiece for Stave Four: "No," said a great fat man, "I only know he's dead"
- "What do you call this?" said Joe
- Full-page colour lithograph: Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went
- Headpiece for Stave Five: It was a Turkey!
- "I am about to raise your salary!"
- Ornamental book-board: turkey and pudding motif
- Dust-jacket: "He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church."
The Cricket on the Hearth
- Engraved Title-page: John, Dot, the Baby, domestic realia — the cricket
- Headpiece for "Chirp the First": John returns home
- . . . an obtrusive interest in the baby (Tilly, Boxer, and Baby)
- "That's the way I found him, sitting by the roadside"
- Headpiece for "Chirp the Second": "I see you, father," she said
- "Where are your gay young bridegrooms now!"
- . . . infallible domestic recipes and precepts
- "An't he beautiful, John?"
- . . . saw her . . . adjust the Lie upon his head
- Headpiece for "Chirp the Third": John by the hearth with the Fairy (175)
- "Do you recollect the voice, dear Caleb?"
- ". . . but as she has been there once, this morning, perhaps you'll excuse her"
- Tailpiece: Caleb and Tilly dancing
Charles Edmund Brock (artist) and Alexander H. Williamson (designer)
Other Illustrations for the first two Christmas Books (1843-1915)
- John Leech's original 1843 series of eight engravings for Dickens's A Christmas Carol
- The original 1845 series of fourteen engravings for Dickens's The Cricket on the Hearth
- Sol Eytinge, Junior's 1867-68 illustrations for two Ticknor & Fields editions for Dickens's A Christmas Carol
- E. A. Abbey's 1876 illustrations for The American Household Edition of Dickens's Christmas Books
- Fred Barnard's 1878 illustrations for The Household Edition of Dickens's Christmas Books
- A. A. Dixon's 1906 Collins Pocket Edition for Dickens's Christmas Books
- Charles Green's 1892 illustrations in A & F Pears Centenary Edition of Dickens's A Christmas Carol (1912)
- Harry Furniss's 1910 Charles Dickens Library Edition of Dickens's Christmas Books
- A selection of Arthur Rackham's 1915 illustrations for Dickens's A Christmas Carol
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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the Hearth. Illustrated by C. E. [Charles Edmund] Brock. London: J. M. Dent, 1905; New York: Dutton, rpt., 1963.
Created 21 May 2015
Last modified 12 July 2020