Victorian Illustrated Fiction Criticism: Overviews And Development - Essay

Ronald Paulson (essay date 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Paulson, Ronald. “The Tradition of Comic Illustration from Hogarth to Cruikshank.” Princeton University Library Chronicle 35, nos. 1-2 (1973): 35-60.

[In the following essay, Paulson describes the influence of Hogarth and Rowlandson on Victorian illustration. Paulson suggests that in some cases literary illustration stands as a text of its own, while in other cases illustrations function as a kind of commentary or interpretation of the verbal text.]


Sophisticated analysis of book illustration is a recent development, with most attention going to a few special cases like Blake's dynamic marriage of illustration and text in his...

(The entire section is 10032 words.)

Wendell Stacy Johnson (essay date 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Johnson, Wendell Stacy. “Illustrious Victorians.” Journal of Popular Culture 15, no. 4 (1982): 1-15.

[In the following essay, Johnson discusses the trends that influenced the development of illustration. Johnson focuses on a Victorian aesthetic theory which held that all arts were in essence a form of poetry, and that, by extension, all visual arts were a form of storytelling.]

Although modern criticism has come to recognize what the ancients knew, how arbitrary a distinction between music and poetry can be, we sometimes still insist upon an artificial purity of genres. This is especially true when the genres are visual and verbal. We hold as suspect...

(The entire section is 7721 words.)

David Skilton (essay date 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Skilton, David. “The Relation between Illustration and Text in the Victorian Novel: A New Perspective.” In Word and Visual Imagination, edited by Karl Josef Holtgen, Peter M. Daly, and Wolfgang Lottes, pp. 303-25. Erlangen: Universitatsbund Erlangen-Nurnberg, 1988.

[In the following essay, Skilton provides an overview of critical writing on Victorian illustrated fiction.]


By far the largest amount of work on illustrations to Victorian fiction concerns the important issue of the generation of the illustrated work—whether or not the writer directed the visual artist in detail, or on the contrary...

(The entire section is 6214 words.)