The Battle of Life, Pears Centenary Edition, in which the plates often have captions that are different from the titles in the "List of Illustrations" (p. 13-14). Specifically, Arrival at Dr. Jeddler's of the Lawyers has a lengthy caption that differs from the one in the "List of Illustrations"; the textual quotation that serves as the caption for the scene in which the local attorneys, Snitchey and Craggs, salute Marion on her birthday, is "Ladies!" said Mr. Snitchey, "For Self and Craggs," who bowed, "good morning. Miss," to Marion, "I kiss your hand" ("Part the First," p. 32, from the text on the previous page) — a picturesque backdrop of a substantial eighteenth-century country mansion establishes Dr. Jeddler's comparative affluence. However, Green shifts the focus to the lawyers and his younger daughter, the fair-haired Marion, by obscuring the physician's face and positioning the dark-haired Grace to the right of the composition, as if she is a secondary character. In the 1846 edition of the novella, there is no equivalent illustration; however, those at the parting breakfast, as depicted by John Leech include these five characters, as well as the servants (Britain and Clemency).by Charles Green (p. 32). 1912. 10.6 x 12.7 cm, framed. Dickens's
"Ladies!" said Mr. Snitchey, "For Self and Craggs," who bowed, "good morning. Miss," to Marion, "I kiss your hand." Which he did. "And I wish you" — which he might or might not, for he didn't look, at first sight, like a gentleman troubled with many warm outpourings of soul, in behalf of other people, "a hundred happy returns of this auspicious day." ["Part the First," 30-31, 1912 edition]
In the Household Edition of 1878, Fred Barnard, who was assigned a small number of illustration, does not include a scene involving the country attorneys and the Jeddlers, but he does depict the lawyers offering Michael Warden their legal advice in "I think it will be better not to hear this, Mr. Craggs?" (see below), in which at least physically the attorneys complement one another, so that one is tall and thin, the other of middle height. Green's study of the lawyers, in contrast, presents them as equally tall and distinguished men of middle age, Craggs in a fawn suit, Snitchey in dark cloth, but otherwise similar in face and form. Their gallantry in the text is a little ironic, given their crusty natures, but no such discrepancy occurs in the Green illustration.
Even though they appear twice in the original 1846 sequence of illustrations, one sees little of the lawyers in either Household Edition volume. In the 1876 Harper and Brothers volume, E. A. Abbey depicts Snitchey and Craggs as a pair of middle-aged attorneys of a decidely dry and dusty hue, their clothing far more borgeois and less aristocratic than that of Green's attorneys, in "Now, observe, Snitchey," he continued, rising and taking him by the button, "and Craggs," taking him by the button also" (see below). Barnard in the British Household Edition focuses on the difference between the self-confident, youthful aristocrat in the centre (Michael Warden, the profligate client) and the cautious, thoughtful, middle-aged men counselling him, in "I think it will be better not to hear this, Mr. Craggs?" (see below) — a comic interpretation of the pair approximately Leech's earlier interpretation. Focussing on the lithe figure of Michael Warden once again, but depicting his attorneys as mere background figures at the top of the stairs, Harry Furniss in his 1910 lithograph Michael Warden leaving his lawyers merely renders them as physically angular, their faces mere masks.
Relevant Illustrations from the 1846 and later Editions
Left: Leech's interpretation of the attorney's cluttered office in Snitchey and Craggs. Centre: Barnbard's more humorous realisation of the aged attorneys, concerned that their client is a fortune-hunter, seeking to address his financial problems by marrying an heiress (who is also their client!), "I think it will be better not to hear this, Mr. Craggs?" (1878). Right: Furniss's description of the careless client and his careful attorneys, Michael Warden leaving his lawyers (1910).
Above: Abbey's 1876 more prosaic realisation of the same scene which emphasizes Michael Warden's animation, "Now, observe, Snitchey," he continued, rising and taking him by the button, "and Craggs," taking him by the button also."
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. The Battle of Life: A Love Story. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Daniel Maclise, and Clarkson Stanfield. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846.
_____. The Battle of Life: A Love Story. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Daniel Maclise, and Clarkson Stanfield. (1846). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Hardmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978.
_____. The Battle of Life. Illustrated by Charles Green, R. I. London: A & F Pears, 1912.
_____. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
_____. Christmas Books, illustrated by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.
_____. Christmas Books, illustrated by A. A. Dixon. London & Glasgow: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1906.
_____. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.
_____. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.
Created 12 May 2015
Last modified 18 March 2020