Hard Times, which appeared in American Household Edition, 1870. Page 158. Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham [This image may be used for any scholarly or educational purpose without prior permission.]by Charles S. Reinhart (1844-1896). 13.3 cm wide by 10.2 cm high (horizontally mounted, with text above and below on a page 24 cm high by16.2 cm wide). This plate illustrates Book One, Chapter Fifteen, "Father and Daughter," in Charles Dickens's
In Thomas Gradgrind's Blue-Book lined library, which Dickens describes as the Utilitarian equivalent of the astronomical observatory, while "a deadly statistical clock" beats an obligato, Louisa hears Bounderby's proposal of a marital partnership from the lips of her father. Neither seems moved by even the trace of a sentiment or emotion in Reinhart's plate, although Gradgrind does seem to be taking his daughter's hand sympathetically. In the illustration, no window reveals the smoke and grime of the factory town, no "deadly statistical clock" raps out the hours; instead, barely sketched in on the wall behind Louisa is a map and a graph. Several large books lean on their sides, as if several volumes have been abstracted from that lower shelf, as Louisa is about to be put into circulation as the wife of Gradgrind's fellow industrialist and chief political ally (and soon-to-be son-in-law). Fully visible rather than hidden by his top-hat, Gradgrind's skull is noticeably indented on the top, as if he had an extra brain, as he discounts the importance of mutual affection in a marriage.
Last modified 10 October 2002