Requesting Help (Again) to Identify an Illustration’s Original Source

A few weeks ago, I requested help tracing the original sources of two portraits of Catherine Crowe. Well, that search continues. Now, I’m asking for assistance in identifying the original source of this illustration:


It certainly has an Arthur Rackham quality, no? Yet I can’t find it in any image searches with his name. And putting the image in Google’s image search only brings me back to where I found it.

Where I found it is here, and right below the illustration, the author kindly provides this link to the website of Cambridge University’s Special Collections. Maybe that link has become outdated, though, because I’m not seeing it. I did some basic searching there — with and without “Illustration” as the search category. Still no luck.

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this image, if anything. But it fits so nicely with the long history of telling ghost stories out loud — a topic explored through fiction in Echoing Ghost Stories: Literary Reflections of Oral Tradition — I bet I’ll find some place for it.

— Tim


A few fine folks have let me know what page on the Cambridge University’s Special Collections website to look at: this one here. According to that page, the illustration is by H.M. Brock (and not Arthur Rankham). It appeared in a circa 1911 edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Tree.

Wonderful news!

5 thoughts on “Requesting Help (Again) to Identify an Illustration’s Original Source

  1. Catherine Arnott SMITH December 15, 2020 — 12:25 pm

    Tim – found it! Or at least a source to chase down. Cambridge’s site search is pretty bad but plain old Google worked once I knew the name attached to the online exhibition.

    “Ghost stories round the Christmas fire”, from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas tree, facing p. 29 ([London]: 1911?), classmark 1911.7.2795

    Here’s the “Rare Books Advent Calendar” (2013) from which it came:

    Catherine Smith
    Stoughton, WI


    1. Thank you!

      I *thought* I looked through all of those “advent calendar” posts, but I must have skipped right over the very one I shouldn’t have.


  2. It’s an illustration by HM Brock for Dicken’s “A Christmas Tree”


    1. Thanks very much! I wonder if thinking it was Arthur Rackham misled me. Anyway, now I know!


  3. PS – here’s the link from the Cambridge Special Collection.


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