"Caleb and his daughter sat a work."

A. A. Dixon


Lithographic reproduction of watercolour

12.2 cm high x 7.9 cm wide

Fifth illustration for The Christmas Books, Collins' Pocket Edition (1906), facing page 224.

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The story's other family is perhaps less typical than the nuclear family of the Peerybingles. I ndigen toy-makers Caleb Plummer, a widower, and his blind daughter combine their domestic and commercial spaces. Although Dixon's illustration does not display their products in the profusion of the accompanying text opposite, he presents Caleb naturally rather than (as in the original) a grotesque, and individualises Bertha. [Commentary continued below.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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