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Joseph Kenny Meadows

(1790—1874) illustrator and caricaturist


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Meadows published portraits of characters from Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist in 1838 numbers of Bell's Life in London. In the following year he issued in six half-shilling instalments portraits of 24 characters from Nicholas Nickleby, allegedly derived ‘from drawings by Miss La Creevy’. These were subsequently republished without the Dickensian identifications. Between 1839 and 1843 Meadows realized his life's ambition by illustrating an edition of Shakespeare published by Charles Knight. This was very successful and led to collaborations with members of the Punch circle. He depicted Dickens, John Forster, Douglas Jerrold, John Leech, and Mark Lemon acting in Every Man In His Humour for a review in the Illustrated London News (22, 29 November 1845; see amateur theatricals), and he tried the Dickens market one more time with a picture of Barbara, the Garlands' maidservant, timed to coincide with the release of the Cheap Edition of The Old Curiosity Shop in 1848.

From Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).


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