Room 3: Henry M. Brock1899 Henry M. Brock – published by J. M. Dent
Only a few years after the release of Charles E. Brock’s illustrations, in 1899 the publisher J. M. Dent approached his brother, Henry M. Brock, who was also an illustrator, to create a new frontispiece of this edition. The reason there was a new edition so soon after Charles’ edition is because a new printing technology developed in 1898, called lithography. This new printing technique involved printing the same image on top of itself multiple times, using a different colour each time. Dent took advantage of this new technological advancement to bring the characters of Pride & Prejudice to living colour!
Dent published new colour editions of all six of Jane Austen’s novels and split the frontispiece illustration work between the Brock brothers. Charles drew new illustrations for Sense & Sensibility, Emma and Persuasion, whilst Henry worked on Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and, of course, Pride & Prejudice.
Henry M. Brock’s choice of scene to illustrate for the frontispiece of Vol. II was of course, the letter scene between Darcy and Elizabeth. Similarly to Charles’ illustration, Elizabeth is carrying a winter muff and Darcy tips his hat to her, but in this one he is wearing a thicker coat over the top of his jacket. It is almost a mirror image of Charles’ illustration, showing the similarities between the brothers’ works.
Henry’s illustrations were drawn in pen and ink and were then brought to life using watercolour paints. The trees in the background suggest the scene takes place in winter, and the colours used in the illustration such as like purples, blues and browns definitely reflect this season.