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Oliver Madox-Brown’s the Black Swan and Gabriel Denver : a critical edition Emond, Elizabeth Suzanne 1995

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OLIVER MADOX-BROWN’S THE BLACK SWANAND GABRIEL DENVER: A CRITICAL EDITIONbyELIZABETH SUZANNE EMONDB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1984M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1987A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of English)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISE-! COLUMBIAFebruary, 1995©Elizabeth Suzanne Emond, 1995In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Department of_________________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)11AbstractThe text of Oliver Madox—Brown’s only published novel, Gabriel Denver,presents a fascinating textual problem. Madox—Brown, the son of the painter FordMadox Brown, composed the novel sometime during the winter he turned seventeen,1871—72. During the following year, the young author was browbeaten by Smith,Elder’s principal reader, William Smith Williams, into making extensive and radicalrevisions before the work would be published in 1873. In 1874, Madox—Brown died,and in 1876 his brothers—in—law, William Michael Rossetti and Franz Hueffer,published what they said was the original version of Gabriel Denver, a tale theycalled The Black Swan. Manuscript fragments of each version survive, but they are farfrom finished copy. The challenge, then, is to assign some meaning to the concept of“final authorial intention” when each of the primary sources is either not intentional,not authorial, or not final.I decided to reproduce the text at two different stages of its history: justbefore Williams first read the tale, and after it had been revised to his satisfaction.My copy—text for the former was Rossetti’s and Hueffer’s The Black Swan, and forthe latter, the 1873 Gabriel Denver. I have emended errata in both, and in TheBlack Swan have removed what were clearly editorial intrusions on Rossetti’s andHueffer’s part; all these modifications are recorded either in the textual or in theeditorial apparatus. Each edited text is accompanied by an apparatus listing variants inwording with the corresponding MS fragments, and changes in wording within the MSSthemselves.111The two texts do more than present a bibliographical conundrum. They alsohighlight the similarities and differences in values between the Pre—Raphaelite circleand mainstream Victorian society. Furthermore, though neither work is by any means aliterary masterpiece, The Black Swan has an artistic integrity that is completelyundermined by the revisions Williams insisted be made in Gabriel Denver in order tominimize its ardent Romanticism. Together, the two tales dramatically illustrate theconstraints under which Victorian writers struggled as they saw their works into print.ivTable of ContentsAbstract iiTable of Contents ivList of Figures viAbbreviations and Symbols viiAcknowledgements viiiGeneral Introduction 1Bibliographical Descriptions:Manuscript Materials 24Printed Texts 44Genealogy 52Methodology 55The Copy— Texts 57Treatment of Accidentals 59Texttial Cruxes 62Correspondence of Chapters 70A Note on the Titling 73The Black Swan 74Chapter I 75Chapter II 106Chapter III 121Chapter IV 157Chapter V 200Chapter VI 217Chapter VII 229Chapter VIII 239Chapter IX 251Chapter X 261Gabriel Denver 306Chapter I 308Chapter II 328Chapter III 339Chapter IV 347Chapter V 356VChapter VI 371Chapter VII 381Chapter VIII 387Chapter IX 395Chapter X 399Chapter XI 412Chapter XII 417Chapter XIII 428Chapter XIV 438Chapter XV 450Chapter XVI 453Chapter XVII 464Chapter XVIII 479Chapter XIX 495Conclusion 516Editorial Apparatus:Explanatory Notes 526Sonnet for Story 540Punctuation and Styling Variantsand Typographical Errors 542Compound Words Hyphenated atEnd of Line in Copy—Texts 545Bibliography ssoviList of FiguresFigure 1: “Ford Madox Brown Being PatronizedBy Holman Hunt,” by Max Beerbohm 1Figure 2: Oliver Madox— Brown’s Family Tree 3Figure 3: Oliver Madox— Brown as a Baby 5Figure 4: Cover of the 1873 Gabriel Denver(University of Wisconsin Copy) 14Figure 5: Cover of A—D.C 26Figure 6: Page from A—D.A 28Figure 7: Page from A—D.B 30Figure 8: Page from A—D.B 31Figure 9: Page from A—D.B 32Figure 10: Opening from A—D.B’ 33Figure 11: Opening from A—D.B’ 34Figure 12: Page from A—D.C 36Figure 13: Page from JR.1 38Figure 14: Page from JR.4A 41Figure 15: Page from JR.4B 43Figure 16: Cover of 1875 Gabriel Denver(Princeton Copy) 46Figure 17: Cover of 1875 Gabriel Denver(British Library Copy) 48Figure 18: Genealogy of Texts 54viiAbbreviations and SymbolsOM—B Oliver Madox—BrownFMB Ford Madox BrownFMF Ford Madox FordDGR Dante Gabriel RossettiWMR William Michael RossettiPBM Philip Bourke MarstonA—D Angeli- DennisR&H W.M. Rossetti and F. Hueffer, eds., The Black SwanGD Smith, Elder’s edition of Gabriel Denver<text crossed out in MS>{text written between lines in MS}II page breakviiiAcknowledgementsThis dissertation owes its very existence to Dr. William F. Fredeman, who firsttold me the poignant story of Oliver Madox— Brown’s life when I was casting aboutfor a topic in 1990. Having thus excited my interest, Dr. Fredeman went on to makedozens of valuable suggestions concerning avenues of research, and generously allowedme access to his collection. I cannot thank him enough.I am also deeply indebted to Dr. Pamela Dalziel and Dr. Ira Nadel, not onlyfor the many times each of them forced me to examine my editorial assumptions, butalso Dr. Daiziel for her penetrating and challenging commentary, and Dr. Nadel forall his encouragement during the writing of this thesis.I am particularly grateful to Ms. Leslie Williams, who has acted, at varioustimes, as my proof—reader, my courier, and my sounding—board. Without her help andsympathy, the preparation and production of this thesis would have been less pleasant,and significantly more difficult.The staff of UBC’s Interlibrary Loans office has shown wondrous patience andpersistence in finding materials for me, and I thank them warmly. I also wish tothank the staff in Special Collections at UBC (especially George Brandak), Dr. PeterMcNiven of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, and the staff of the BritishLibrary for their unfailing cobperation and assistance in my research. Thanks are due,as well, to Maureen Melton of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and to the Boardof Trustees of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. I am grateful, too, to variouspersons who have indulged me by answering questions that came to them from out ofixthe blue; among these obliging souls are Dr. Max Taylor of UBC’s Oceanographydepartment; Dr. Edward Mornin of the German department; Dr. Franco Manai,formerly of the Italian department; Dr. Gerwin Marahrens of the University ofAlberta’s German Department; Harry Winrob, M.D.; my aunts Dorothy Hopkins andPhyffis Woodring, retired typographers; and my brother David, a veteran of ten yearsat sea. Dr. Alec Globe and Dr. Sheldon Goldfarb also deserve thanks for the manytimes each of them allowed himself to be buttonholed and forced to discuss textualissues related to Oliver Madox— Brown’s fiction.It is customary to thank the members of one’s household for their emotionaland material help. I have indeed basked these five years in the uncritical affection ofmy dogs and cat, but the past two years have found me the grateful beneficiary ofthe generosity and support of my sister Sara and of Dr. Susanna Egan. Without theirhelp, this project could not have reached fruition.1Figure 1: “Ford Madox Brown Being Patronized by Holman Hunt,” by Max BeerbohmjIL2General IntroductionMax Beerbohm’s cartoon on the preceding page shows a vivid Holman Hunt inthe studio of a Ford Madox Brown who almost fades into the drab backgroundcolours. Behind them stands a barely distinguishable little boy—Brown’s son Oliver.Oliver Madox—Brown, who in fact lived less than twenty years and thus never reallyleft boyhood, turns out to be almost as elusive a figure historically as Beerbohm’sdrawing depicts him. His father believed passionately in his genius, and refused toassociate with anyone who did not share this view. According to Brown’s granddaughterHelen Rossetti Angeli, “No man or woman suspected of lack of appreciation of Oliverhad any further part in Madox Brown’s heart or life” (DGR 42). Then, after theboy’s death in 1874, the Brown family enshrined his memory, and declined to supplyany but endearing reminiscences to biographers. Consequently, material about himtended to be one—sided and unrealistic until 1968, when W.E. Fredeman published“Pre— Raphaelite Novelist Manqu’e: Oliver Madox Brown,” the paper that inspired thisdissertation. Fredeman at last examined Madox—Brown’s life and works with anobjective critical eye, though for biographical details he was obliged, as I have been,to turn in large measure to sources from what he calls “the adulatory school ofcriticism” (31).The two most important of these are the Memoir attached to the edition ofMadox— Brown’s complete literary works prepared after his death by his sisters’1Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 51.1 (Autumn 1968), 27—72.rjOQ CD 0 CDElizaCOFFIN1818—1849(2)EmmaMathilde1829?—1890FordHermann(laterFordMadoxFORD)1873—1939OliverMADOX-BROWN1855-1874MariaFrancesca1827—76Dante1828—82MaryElizabeth1881—1947DrJohnBROWN1=EupheiniaLarnond1735—17881740—?FordBROWNCarolineMDOX1780-1842d.1839(12children)JohnMariaMargaretCharlottePhilipHenryEliza1795-1821RobertFrancisHarrietGaetanoPOLIDORI=AnnaMariePIERCETGabrielePasquale=FrancesH.ROSSETTILavinia1783—18541800—86HILLFordMadoxBROWN1821—1893(1)ElizabethBROMLEY1818—1846ArthurGabriel1856—1857ChristinaGeorgina1830—94ElizabethEleanor==GabrielCharlesSIDDAL1834—62CatherineEmily==FranzX.HUEFFERMadox1845—18891850-1927OliverMadoxEmmaLucyMadoxBROWN1843—1893WilliamMichaelROSSETTI1829-1892OliviaFrancis==AntonioMadoxAGRESTIJuliet==DavidSOSKICEHaroldGeoffreyDoraLEWISGabrielArthur1877-1932Frank==Lucy0CONORFord1881-83HelenMarieGastonePNGELI1879—1969d.1904GeoffreyDENNIS==ImogenLucyMaria1892—1963b.19044husbands,2 and John H. Ingram’s Oliver Madox- Browrn A Biographical Sketch (London,1883), an invaluable book, in spite of its flaws, for the fifty or so letters it quotes,many unavailable elsewhere.Oliver Madox—Brown (who added the hyphen himself) was born at GroveVillas, Finchley, on 20 January 1855 to Ford Madox Brown and his second wife,Emma Hill.3 Oliver was their second child, their first being Catherine Emily (Cathy),born five years earlier. Ford Madox Brown also had a daughter by his first wife,Elizabeth Bromley—Lucy, who was twelve when her half—brother Oliver was born.(See Figure 2.) Brown’s only other son, Arthur Gabriel, died at ten months whenMadox— Brown was two.There can be no doubt that Oliver (“Nolly” to his family) was showered withattention from his earliest days. (See Figure 3.) The Memoir reports that “at the ageof nine months, his very first attempt at utterance was the word ‘beautiful’ . . . whenpictures, or other objects worthy of admiration, were shown to him” (2). GeorginaBurne—Jones indicates that he was a general favorite as a small child; in fact, shecalls him “an enchanting child,” and adds that “it was not possible to be angry with[himi. He might plant his boot in the middle of a pie that was set in the windowto cool, yet the cook bore him no grudge—or jump over the footboard into themiddle of a new—made feather bed, but no one could do more than laugh”(179—180).Madox— Brown’s childhood might well be envied. He was not only shownobjects worthy of admiration, but also encouraged to produce them himself. At the ageof eight, according to the Memoir, “he executed, under his father’s tuition, his first2William Michael Rossetti and Franz Hueffer, eds., The Dwale Bluth, Hebditch’sLegacy, and Other Literary Remains of Oliver Madox—Brown, Author of GabrielDenver, Edited by William M. Rossetti and F. Hueffer, With a Memoir and TwoPortraits (London: Tinsley Bros., 1876).3Ford Madox Brown’s diary (Surtees 118) relates that, happily, mother and baby wereattended by a physician who approved of the therapies developed by the baby’sgreat—grandfather, Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh. Dr. Brown had favoured nutritiousfood and rest over bloodletting.(D C CD I-i C6picture—a small still—life piece, in water colour, of a book and an apple” (3). Hisartistic instruction was suspended for two years while he attended the junior classes ofUniversity College, where he became known for slovenliness and disorganization (traitsthat were later to characterize his manuscripts), but at home again, he resumedpainting and, at twelve, produced a water— colour of Queen Margaret and the Robbers,which he presented to Dante Gabriel Rossetti.Rossetti’s response was appreciative and encouraging:I assure you I consider it very beautiful both in design andcolour, and a first effort of which you need never be ashamed,however much you may advance as an artist.Hard study and application are not to be dispensed with by anyone entering on Art; but it is something to make such a beginning asthis, and so feel sure that, though without labour no perfection canever be attained, still there is no doubt of your labour to become acomplete artist being really worth your while and not a mistaken coursein life as it is with many.(Doughty and Wahl ii, letter 716)Madox—Brown continued painting, and at fourteen saw his water—colour The InfantJason Delivered to the Centaur Chiron exhibited at the Dudley Gallery. When he wasfifteen, his painting Exercize was exhibited at the Royal Academy.Ford Madox Brown’s strict criterion of friendship did not limit his social circleto any appreciable extent. The Brown household received visits from dozens of bothmajor and minor figures in the world of arts and literature. Madox—Brown’s sisterCathy married Franz Hueffer, the music critic (and in 1873 became the mother ofFord Madox Hueffer, later Ford Madox Ford), and his half—sister Lucy marriedWilliam Michael Rossetti in 1874.7The Brown family’s closest friend was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who had littlediscretion in his dealings with children, as is evident from Ford Madox Brown’s diary:[A] rrived at home we find that [Rossetti] has been frightening Kattietelling her he would put her in the fire. Begins to us, on our entering,with “That ass of a child”—I stop him with “I’ve told you before Idon’t choose you to call my child an ass, it is not gentlemanly tocome & abuse persons [sic) children to them—if you can’t stay herewithout calling her names you had better go.” He did not go but wassilent for the rest of the eveng [sic].(Surtees 107—8)Nonetheless, Rossetti became an object of hero—worship to Ford Madox Brown’s youngson. It was to Madox—Brown that Philip Bourke Marston wrote in [873 (sure of asympathetic audience), “What a supreme man is Rossetti! Why is he not some greatexiled king, that we might give our lives in restoring him to his kingdom!” (Ingram114). While learning to cherish this sentiment, Madox—Brown was witness to Rossetti’schequered personal life, and was, undoubtedly, steeped in the rationale behind theolder man’s relations with women. Madox— Brown’s only finished novel takes place in amoral universe very much like the one Rossetti appears to have created for himself,in which passion was given free rein, and marriage had no necessary connection withlove.Rossetti’s close association with the Brown household had direct effects onyoung Madox—Brown. Rossetti kept a menagerie of exotic pets, such as wombats andarmadillos; Madox—Brown kept unusual pets such as rats and hedgehogs. Rossettipainted; Madox—Brown painted. Rossetti wrote poetry; at fourteen, Madox—Brown beganto write poetry.Few of Madox—Brown’s poems survive; evidently he destroyed most of them ina spasm of embarrassment after they had been shown to some friends (Memoir810—11). His interest in poetry persisted for a while—originally, the Memoir says (10),he planned Gabriel Denver in verse—but eventually he decided to explore themedium of prose fiction.The young man’s growing interest in literature did not replace his interest inthe visual arts. In 1871, he was enrolled in a life drawing class taught by a MonsieurBarthe of Chelsea. One of his fellow students was the Irish novelist, George Moore,who offers a description of Madox—Brown in Vale:—a strange boy, stranger even than I: a long fat body buttoned in anold overcoat reaching to his knees, odd enough when upright, but odderstill when crouching on the ground in front of his drawing—board, hisright hand sketching rapidly, his left throwing black locks of hair fromhis face, of which little was seen but the great hooked nose.(34-35)And on a more candid note:He seemed to take it for granted that he was not like other men, andI understood that having heard himself so often spoken of as a geniushe had accepted the fact of his genius as he had come to accept thefact that he could speak and hear and walk.(36)Moore struck up an acquaintance with Madox—Brown, and paid a visit to theBrown household at 37 Fitzroy Square. Ford Madox Brown greeted him at the door,and took him to his son’s study, modestly offering to stop in his own studio on theway. (“Does he, then, think so much of Oliver that he puts him before his ownpictures?” Moore wondered.) Evidently, Brown was eager to talk about his son:He paints in the morning, said the adoring father, and writes in theevening when he doesn’t go to the class. A volume of poems wasmentioned, and I asked if the manuscript had gone to the publisher.9Oliver hesitates about sending it. Swinburne and Rossetti are publishingpoetry, and all the literature of the pre—Raphaelites has hitherto goneinto verse.(36)The Memoir, too, indicates that Madox—Brown’s decision to become ThePre—Raphaelite novelist was a conscious one (10). Over the winter of 1871—72, hecomposed his first novel, and surprised his family with it in mid—March 1872. WilliamMichael Rossetti’s diary entry for 18 March relates that “Brown called. He says Nollyhas, to the astonishment of everybody, & without consulting anybody, written a prosetale of passion, of extraordinary power . . .“‘This “prose tale of passion” begins in medias res, on board a becalmed shipbound for London from Australia. A man (who turns out to be Gabriel Denver, apassenger) is pacing the deck when he hears the rustle of a woman’s dress in theshadows. He rushes into the darkness and clasps the woman to his breast, murmuring“Laura!” Unfortunately, she turns out to be, not Laura, but his wife Dorothy. Highwords follow, but eventually, Dorothy leaves and Denver resumes mooning about.Denver, Dorothy, and the beautiful Laura Conway are the only passengers onboard The Black Swan. Dorothy and Denver have been married for eight years, sheloving him deeply but secretly from the first. He has been indifferent to her, havingonly married her to acquire money with which to repay a loan from his sister. Onboard the ship, he has met and become “wildly infatuated,” as Madox—Brown puts it,with Laura, who loves him in return.The night of the mistaken— identity episode, the ship catches fire, and everyoneaboard perishes but our three principals, who are left adrift with no food or waterfor four days. Eventually, Dorothy drinks sea water, confesses to setting the fire, cursesDenver and Laura, and dies, just as a rescuing ship, the Albatross, appears. The two4WMR’s unpublished diary, Angeli—Dennis papers.10lovers are taken aboard, but Laura dies after all and Denver jumps into the sea withher body and drowns himself.In the same call on William Rossetti in which he announced Madox—Brown’swork, Brown went on to say that the taledrew tears from Mathilde Blind. He [Brown] wishes Gabriel, myself, &perhaps Morris, to meet soon at Miss B’s, to hear the tale read byLucy, & to offer opinions as to its merits, & chances of success.(WMR’s diary, A—D papers)As it happened, neither Gabriel Rossetti nor Morris attended the reading, which tookplace on 30 May 1872. William Rossetti was impressed with the tale, but had somereservations about its merit, and noted them in his diary:Certainly the tale is very remarkable (Consid that N. is now only 17)in point of sustained literary competence, Keeping together of thevarious requirements in a naval narrative, & other points of this sort, &shows indisputable gift & power: in point of originality, thrill ofpassion, &c (the matters wh. Brown had more espec.1Y dwelt on inreferring to the story), I think it is perhaps scarcely so uncommon ashe supposes: tho’ in this way also noticeable, & for such a youth asN. very much so. . . . I think many things are given at too greatlength, & that the quality of the story is rather questionably balancedbetween that of a full—sized romance with very few incidents, & that ofa condensed tale of passion narrated with some excess of scale.Others who heard the story offered unqualified admiration. During GeorgeMoore’s visit to Fitzroy Square, he suggested that Madox— Brown bring hisrecently—completed prose romance to read to M. Barthe’s class:He promised to do so, and the following day when Mary Lewis leftthe pose and wrapped herself in a shawl (a shapely little girl she was,IIWhistler’s model; she used to go over and talk to him during therests), Oliver began to read, and Mary sat like one entranced, hershawl slipping from her, and I remember her listening at last quitenaked. And when the quarter of an hour had gone by, we beggedOliver to go on reading, forgetful of Whistler, who sat in a cornerlooking as cross as an armful of cats. At last, M. Barthe was obligedto intervene, and Mary resumed the pose.[We] begged Oliver to take up the reading again at theend of the sitting, and Whistler went away in high dudgeon, for Marystopped behind to hear how the story ended.(36-37)It is safe to assume that Madox—Brown’s tale made the rounds of his familyand friends. He himself read it one stormy night in June 1872 to his close friendPhilip Bourke Marston, purporting it to have been written by a friend (Ingram 96).Eventually, Ingram relates,The late Mrs. Lomes [sic] Dickinson, wife of the artist, and daughterof Mr. W. Smith Williams [principal reader for Smith, Elder], havinghad an opportunity of reading the story in manuscript, was so greatlystruck by its power and originality that she did all she could tointerest her father in it.(71)Fredeman (41) indicates that Madox— Brown and his father had taken a somewhat moreactive role in seeking a publisher than Ingram’s account implies. Certainly the Brownswere not reticent about exhibiting and selling their visual works, so it is indeed hardto believe that they left the publication of Madox—Brown’s tale to chance. But, in anyevent, William Smith Williams read Madox—Brown’s manuscript, and wrote to theyoung man. His letter is now lost, but he seems to have offered some encouragement12and much advice, judging from Madox—Brown’s reply of 27 September 1872:With regard to submitting my novel to Mssrs. Smith and Elder, Ihardly know what to say. . . . I have not the slightest objection tomodifying the harshness of the plot so far as I am able, for Iperfectly recognise the truth and usefulness of the alterations you haveso kindly suggested.(Ingram 71—72)Notwithstanding his expressed compliance, Madox—Brown made the first of manyattempts to resist Williams’s suggested alterations. Williams was forceful, however, soDorothy became Denver’s cousin Deborah Mallinson, to whom he was merely engaged.(Denver had borrowed money from Deborah, and was to marry her in return.) Overthe next few months, Madox—Brown was pressed into changing the ending of thestory, so that Denver and 1..aura marry at the end, and, finally, into rearranging theorder of the chapters, though he held out on the latter revision well into January1873, as his letter of the 24th to Williams indicates:I am sorry to differ from you in opinion respecting the chapter thatought to stand first—the more so, when I think of the very largeexperience you must have had in dealing with novels; but I cannothelp feeling that it would considerably damp the reader’s interest in thebook, were the opening chapter to be a weak one. I have hithertoconsidered, that with all model works of art, the impetuousness of thefirst chapter is a sine qua non.(Ingram 74—75)By 10 March, the MS was completely rewritten, with the offending chapter moved toChapter 5, and five new chapters added. Williams forwarded the manuscript to TheCornhill magazine, where it remained under consideration for some weeks, until theeditor, Leslie Stephen, finally decided that the tale did not meet The Cornhill’s needs13at that time. However, Smith & Elder offered to buy the story outright for £50, andMadox—Brown accepted. Gabriel Denver was published on 5 November, Guy Fawkes’Day, 1873, resplendent in a mustard—yellow cover designed by the author’s father(Figure 4).Gabriel Denver was afforded a lukewarm reception by the general public. In aletter of 29 July 1874, now in the Angeli—Dennis papers, Williams reported toMadox—Brown that only 300 copies of the book had been sold. However, it met withapproval from Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who indicated his positive response in a letterto Madox—Brown:I really believe it must be the most robust literary effort of anyimaginative kind that anyone has produced at the age at which youwrote it, and probably even at your present age; though I am uncertainas to the exact time of life at which the Brontt girls wrote their firstbooks. . . . There seems to me no question that you may reach anydegree of success in the future, if your interest in your work remainsundiminished.(Ingram 83—84)Rossetti tempered this praise with enough criticism to make it meaningful (pointingout, for example, the incongrufty of Laura’s “beautifully modelled ankle” in the rescuescene), and Madox—Brown’s reply is worth noting:Your letter surprised and delighted me in more ways than one; forwhile writing my book, I often thought of you and of what you werelikely to say of it, but did not venture to think you would interestyourself so much in it. Certainly I would rather have your approbationof my work—after my father’s—than that of any other man living.(Ingram 86)14LFigure 4: Cover of the 1873 Gabriel Denver (University of Wisconsin copy)15Whatever the outcome may eventually have been, Madox— Brown’s interest inwriting did remain undiminished. Before he had sent his first novel to Williams, hehad already begun work on another, and even before he decided to overhaul GabrielDenver, he was soliciting Williams’ advice in shaping this second work, The DwaleBluth (Ingram 169ff). By August of 1874, enough of The Dwale Bluth had beenwritten for Williams to persuade Madox— Brown to offer the story to The Cornhill.However, Ingram reports, even after extensive revision, “it was sent back to Oliverwithout a word!” (178).Madox—Brown was deeply disappointed. Ingram reports that “[h] is relatives wereunable to overlook the fact, although they paid no particular attention to it at themoment, that henceforth he began to tear up his writings, sometimes whole chapters ata time, and became a constant prey to irritation” (220). This irritability may havebeen an early symptom of the disorder that overtook him soon after—septicaemia, orblood poisoning. We learn from Ford Madox Ford that Madox—Brown’s relativestormented themselves for years with the conviction that the young man had beeninfected by the air of an old stable over which the room that became his study hadbeen built (Memories and Impressions 56), but this “miasma” theory is unlikely in thelight of modern medical science. When blood poisoning is not the result of a wound,it can be caused by any infected area of the body draining into the bloodstream.Madox—Brown’s health had never been robust He continued to write until his strengthfailed, and then dictated to his mother and to William Michael Rossett