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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 29 Apr 2009 09:50:31 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (34 lines)
Friends of the Dickens Forum,

	As he explains, David Parker <[log in to unmask]> has published a
short piece on the subject raised by John Gordon:      (pjm)

I believe Dickens uses "Our Pew at Church," the first illustration to
_David Copperfield_, to foreshadow events in the novel, and to enlarge
readers' understanding.  Some Listers may remember my article about
this in the _Dickensian_ 88 (1992): 41-42.  I take the view that the
figure right in the foreground, standing between the knight's tomb
and the pointed finial at the end of the pew, gazing towards Mr
Murdstone, is the adult David, revisiting the scenes of his early
childhood.  Not everyone agrees with me, but the figure certainly
resembles the adult David as depicted by Phiz.

David Parker

Here's Gordon's query:

    In Chapter 31 of _Dombey and Son_ the narrator wonders aloud why
Carker and Florence have thoughts of "Good Mrs Brown."  The accompanying
illustration, "Coming home from Church," shows Mrs Brown crouched in the
crowd through which they are passing.  So that is the answer to the
question: they have thoughts of her because she's there.  As far as I can
tell, without the illustration it would be unanswerable.

    Does Dickens do anything of the same sort elsewhere?  That is,
does he rely on his illustrator to fill lacunae in the narrative?

John Gordon