George Cruikshank, illustrators, Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
"I am the originator of Oliver Twist." So claimed George Cruikshank in a pamphlet he had published, entitled "The Artist and the Author," in 1872. Cruikshank waited until two years after Dickens's death before putting forth his claim. He also wrote that he was the originator of Harrison Ainsworth's The Miser's Daughter, The Tower of London, and other books by Ainsworth.
It has been proven beyond doubt that all these assertions are without foundation. We have learned that, starting with his first book, Sketches by Boz, for which Cruikshank did the illustrations, it was Dickens's policy first, to write a chapter; next, to give it to the artist; who would only then create the illustrations. Dickens followed this procedure with all the books he wrote.
Whatever Cruikshank's reasons were for making his incredible statements, one must not lose sight of the fact that he was a brilliant artist, and that some of the success for Oliver Twist must go to him.
Wechter, Sidney. "Cruikshank's Fagin—The Illustrator as Creator." The Courier 14.3 (1977): 29-32.