On the Original Illustrations of Trollope's Fiction

Rachel Ray: 2 Illustrations

Written 1863 (3 March - 29 June)
Published as a book 1863 (October), Chapman and Hall
Watercolour painting and frontispiece by John Everett Millais
1864 Rachel Ray: Chapman & Hall; John Everett Millais:
A 'seventh edition' which first included the engraving made from a watercolour painting which now serves as a frontispiece for the novel in some editions.

  1. 'Rachel Ray'. Source: 1990 Trollope Society edition of Rachel Ray, frontispiece, a dark reproduction of the print. John Letts discusses the original plans for an illustrated serialisation for Good Words and why these fell through. Letts reprints Macleod's fulsome letter.

  2. 'Rachel Ray': watercolour painting. Source: Hall, AT and His Illustrators, pp. 73-5. Hall also discusses the 'fiasco' and reprints Trollope's letter to Millais: 'Good Words has thrown me over. They write me word that I am too wicked.

    John Everett Millais, "What Rachel Thought"

    Millais has chosen a pivotal moment in the book, midway, Rachel as she sits meditating in long absorption in Chapter 20 ('Showing what Rchel Ray thought when she sat on the stile, and how she wrote her letter afterwards). She has received one letter from Luke to whom she has become engaged. She is now forbidden to write more than one letter in response, and required to break the engagement. The intent serious and gravity of the pose belies the twisting of spirit she is undergoing. It is interesting that this is perhaps the first picture Millais chose before going onto the whole series. It shows what is considered the important moment in the book.

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Page Last Updated: 17 February 2004