It’s amazing how much of the image I have of Great Britain is based on Dickens – and I had only read A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist growing up. However, I had the opportunity to get myself acquainted with all of his work – because the lovely people from Usborne Publishing asked me to illustrate a collection of Charles Dickens’ abridged novels.
It would be hard to say which one I liked best – I loved his ”Netflix series” approach to writing – his work was mostly published in monthly or weekly instalments, with Dickens incorporating readers feedback into his work (and sometimes killing beloved characters for the drama). I found Martin Chuzzlewit amusing because of the strange, grim view of the US (Dickens was bitter about royalties, and took revenge as best he could), I loved A Tale of Two Cities for the heroic overly-complicated-plot, and I enjoyed illustrating Little Dorrit the most.
I hope some of the joy I felt working on this passed into the illustrations. Many thanks to Anna Milbourne, Hayley Wells and Maria Bogade for their guidance.