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Plundering Victorian treasures

21sep2009: In designing the Decktet, I was strongly influenced by 19th-century illustrators such as John Tenniel and Howard Pyle. If I have drawn farther, it is because I have drawn on the shoulders of giants. Some of my images or compositions are shamelessly stolen from them.

I recently encountered this curious drawing Pyle. I tracked down the book it was drawn for, the Wonder Clock, because I wanted to know what was supposed to be going on in the picture.

The caption is almost quotidian and wonderfully deadpan: "The Grey Goose goes out into the wide world, where she and a discontented Sausage meet the Cock and the Fox." Alas, the rest of the story is a disappointment. Although the Sausage and the Cock are friends briefly, there are no Freudian overtones whatsoever. It ends with a heavy-handed moral about knowing your place in the world.


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