The Charles Dickens Illustrated Gallery has archived all of the original images featured in Dickens' work throughout his creative career. Dr. Michael John Goodman had the idea to digitize the art from Dickens' novels during lockdown.
“The world of Dickens illustration is beset with poor reproductions of the source material, so for this project, I have searched out what I consider to be some of the best editions that feature the original illustrations printed to a decent quality,” Goodman explains. After collecting and scanning the images, he even cleaned them up in Photoshop, so that they look as crisp as possible.
Dickens collaborated with several illustrators during his lifetime, each with a distinctive style that complemented the story at hand. Instead of showcasing these works of art with Dickens' text, Goodman chose to display each image on its own so it can be appreciated.
“In many ways, it is a call-back to the print shops and galleries of the 19th century, where illustrated prints would often be placed in the windows of these establishments, tempting potential customers to buy the latest instalment of a novel,” Goodman adds. “Similarly, if this website encourages users to read more Dickens (or to further explore the work of one of the artists), then it has done a very satisfactory job.”
You can find all of the original illustrations on the website for The Charles Dickens Illustrated Gallery.
Goodman is also the creator of the Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive.