The Rebellion

Having now completed my reading of Charles Dickens’s “Nicholas Nickleby”, I scanned the last four of the dramatic and insightful Charles Keeping’s illustrations from my Folio Society edition of 1986.

‘They pressed forward to see’

‘ ‘Come,’ said Tim, ‘let’s be a comfortable couple’

‘The rebellion had just broken out’

‘One grey-haired, quiet, harmless gentleman’

Christopher Hibbert’s informative introduction puts this book – one of his earliest – in the context of the author’s life and times. Despite the campaign against the sadistic, exploitative, Yorkshire schools there is much of Dickens’s witty humour in this story of tragedy, romance, and mystery. It is so well known as to need no further comment from me.

Throughout this series Keeping’s drawings speak for themselves.

This afternoon, in order to make inroads into the weeds piercing the Rose Garden Brick Paths, I tore myself away from the Test Match commentary until after the tea break.

Here are two images from before my efforts;

and two scraped out and swept.

Jackie continued with much tidying and planting.

This evening we dined on pork chops coated with almonds; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower and broccoli, with tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2019.


  1. Wow, the dinner sounds so good, Derrick! You did a wonderful job clearing the weeds away. You may be able to use a pressure washer to clear the weeds?

      1. Also, I have poured boiling water over weeds in situations like that. They soon decide my garden is not a place in which to linger.

  2. The hanged man and the rebellion are quite impressive, and the characterization in the remaining two illustrations is impeccable. Are you planning to continue with more Dickens and more Keeping?

          1. I can’t have any preferences in that case as I am not familiar with Dickens. I defer to your judgement, Derrick. I am interested in translation of Chekhov, though.

  3. Congrats on completing Nicholas Nickleby!
    “A comfortable couple”…I love that! And they DO look comfortable and happy! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

    Congrats on your hard work of clearing the path! The path is smiling appreciatively! πŸ™‚

    Is there a Weeds Please Don’t Come Back product you could spray on the path now to keep it weed-clear?! HA! πŸ˜›
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS… “The philosopher who said that ‘work well done never needs doing over’ never weeded a garden.”

    1. I couldn’t get down on my hands and knees. I sit on an aluminium chair from which I heave myself up and drag it along every so often πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot Jodie.

  4. Some of those illustrations have reminded me of a horror story which makes the loveliness of your garden path even more welcoming. It’s always nice to see the progress of before and after.

  5. There’s nothing like a set of before and after photos to make a point, is there? As for Dickens, I couldn’t help pondering what he might have done with your Boris Johnson. After watching just a bit of the G7, it seems to me that the Prime Minister would fit quite nicely in a Dickensian tale.

  6. At least with weeding you can stand back afterwards and view the result of your labour with satisfaction – this is so unlike general housework. One only notices the lack of attention; few notice the everyday attention that prevent one’s home turning into a look-alike of Miss Havisham’s!

  7. You and Jackie have done a beautiful job with the gardens, Derrick. Stone paths are a lot of work!

    I am still enjoying the illustrations. πŸ™‚

  8. Hope you enjoyed all of Nicholas Nickleby, not just the bit about The United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company πŸ™‚

    1. It was your leading me to that chapter that prompted me to read the book again. You were right. I’m re-reading Chekhov next. Thanks very much josbees

  9. Your dinner sounds very good, Derrick. These pictures of Nicholas Nickleby are really lovely. My Dickens novels are like Alice’s sister’s book [from Alice in Wonderland] – not pictures at all.

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