Face Change

In an early draft to the illustration The Crew on Deck in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, the illustrator Henry Holiday gave the Bellman a different face than the one which the Bellman had in the final illustration. Henry Holiday didn’t discard the original face. He moved that round faced character (an Oxford colleague?) to the illustration to the chapter The Barrister’s Dream and then turned the Bellman in the illustration The Crew on Deck into a Darwin look-alike.

I think that Dodgson addressed conflicts within the Curch of England and the related legal battles (see Essays and Reviews) in The Hunting of the Snark. One of the results of that conflict was the The Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 introduced (in the year when Carroll started to write his Snark tragicomedy) as a Private Member’s Bill by the Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Campbell Tait. So I dug a bit into the history of this. When I saw the round features of the bishop’s face in the Wikipedia, it reminded me of the face which Holiday gave the Bellman in his first draft. Interestingly, during the young Dodgson was a pupil at Rugby School, the bishop was the headmaster of of that school. Rugby seems to have been a traumatizing experience for Dodgson.

As for the looks, Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury could be another candidate for Holiday’s reference. The Wikipedia says: “Perhaps the best known of his decisions was the judgment delivering the opinion [see excerpt] of the judicial committee of the privy council in 1863 against the heretical character of certain extracts from the well-known publication Essays and Reviews.”

 
2018-03-31, updated: 2022-01-22