Pickwick Papers: Temperance Tea-drinkers
This is the fifth of a short series of images I created especially for fascinating daily blog Spitalfields Life, which had featured me (and my Oranges & Lemons print) in May last year.
I had mentioned to 'the Gentle Author' that half of one chapter of the Pickwick Papers was set in Brick Lane and so we conceived the idea of a collaboration of sorts - the GA would post an edited form of Chapter 32 and I would provide the illustrations (8 in toto).
After meeting at the Blue Boar Sam Weller and his father Tony head over to Brick Lane to exact retribution on the red-nosed Rev. Stiggins.
"The monthly meetings of the Brick Lane Branch of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association were held in a large room, pleasantly and airily situated at the top of a safe and commodious ladder. The president was the straight-walking Mr Anthony Humm, a converted fireman, now a schoolmaster and occasionally an itinerant preacher, and the secretary was Mr Jonas Mudge, chandler’s shopkeeper, an enthusiastic and disinterested vessel, who sold tea to the members.
Previous to the commencement of business, the ladies sat upon forms and drank tea, till such time as they considered it expedient to leave off, and a large wooden money box was conspicuously placed upon the green baize cloth of the business-table, behind which the secretary stood and acknowledged, with a gracious smile, every addition to the rich vein of copper which lay concealed within."
This one was great fun to do. I'm particularly pleased with the limited colour palette I used - gentle pinks for the gentle tea-guzzling ladies of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association.