Mr. Turveydrop

“He was a fat old gentleman with a false complexion, false teeth, false whiskers, and a wig. He had a fur collar, and he had a padded breast to his coat, which only wanted a star or a broad blue ribbon to be complete. He was pinched in, and swelled out, and got up, and strapped down, as much as he could possibly bear.

He had such a neckcloth on (puffing his very eyes out of their natural shape), and his chin and even his ears so sunk into it, that it seemed as though be must inevitably double up if it were cast loose. He had under his arm a hat of great size and weight, shelving downward from the crown to the brim, and in his hand a pair of white gloves with which he flapped it as he stood poised on one leg in a high-shouldered, round-elbowed state of elegance not to be surpassed. He had a cane, he had an eye-glass, he had a snuff-box, he had rings, he had wristbands, he had everything but any touch of nature; he was not like youth, he was not like age, he was not like anything in the world but a model of deportment.”

Sketches and comments

An easy one to caricature, Mr. Turveydrop attracted me immediately. Dickens’ descriptions are so vivid and detailed, it’s impossible for an illustrator to capture every nuance. The challenge is in trying!

In a book with well over fifty characters, it’s amazing that so many of them have an “arc”, or a cause or need to fulfill. Mr. Turveydrop has no arc, unless arranging to be cosseted and spoiled for life by his put-upon son and daughter- in-law is one!

Of course body language is a matter of interpretation, so I had some leeway there. One toe pointed, and head turned imperiously, sort of present themselves while I sketch.

Author: mooney2021

I am a commercial artist and illustrator from New York and now retired. I'm also a longtime Charles Dickens fan and I've embarked on a project to illustrate his great BLEAK HOUSE.

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