Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dickens, Schuler & Bellairs V

We’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of celebrated author Charles Dickens’ birth this year. Born February 7, 1812 in Landport, Portsmouth, England, Dickens created a plethora of memorable characters with whimsical names across a dozen major novels and numerous short stories.

Part of our celebration has been showcasing the postcards the Marshall, Michigan restaurant Schuler's used to promote their Dickens dining room, whose walls were covered with illustrations of some of Dickens’ popular and enduring characters. The cards feature an assortment of well-known characters and are based on the illustrations by British artist Joseph Clayton Clarke (1856-1937), who worked under the pseudonym 'Kyd'.

Clarke famously worked for the British satire magazine, Punch, for only one day and then as a freelance artist until 1900. His Dickens illustrations first appeared in 1887 with two published collections appearing shortly after as The Characters of Charles Dickens (1889) and Some Well Known Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens (1892). Six of these illustrations were issued as stamps by the Royal Mail earlier this year to mark Dickens' bicentennial.

As we’ve previously driven home the Schuler-Dickens-Bellairs point we’ll just introduce the fifth in our series of Schuler's postcards from the 1950s.

This month our cast two more from The Pickwick Papers (1836): first, Mr. Weller, senior; this is Tony Weller, Sam’s father (the “old ‘un”), who is a stage coachman and a stout, red-faced, elderly man, fond of drink and tobacco. Second, Alfred Jingle, the strolling player with “an indescribable air of jaunty impudence and perfect self-possession” whose bizarre anecdotes raise a few eyebrows.

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