An Honorable Thief by Anne Gracie

By Anne Gracie

"The speeding Mr. Hugo Devenish had come to London on a tremendous project: to avoid his blameless nephew from marrying an flawed younger heiress. He'd by no means anticipated to be trounced upon through the main notorious thief on the town! All society was once agog on the rash of burglaries being dedicated through the mysterious Chinaman, yet Hugo's awareness used to be diverted as soon as he was once brought to his nephew's heiress, the interesting pass over package Singleton. Hugo discovered himself totally enchanted. yet her doubtful historical past gave upward push to the suspicion that pass over Singleton was once in some way hooked up to the infamous thief. And Hugo may well basically wish to discover Kit's many secrets and techniques, ahead of the winsome good looks controlled to thieve his heart!

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It may well have been, however, that Hardy sent no more sketches beyond these two. 6 It was never his practice to send sketches for all the projected illustrations of his serialized novels, not even when he was more familiar with the practices and policies of magazine publication, and not even when he had a completed or nearly completed manuscript before the publication of the first installment. 32 HARDY AND HIS ILLUSTRATORS Hardy's interest in the Cornwall setting and the similarity between his fictional heroine Elfride Swancourt and the woman he was courting (Emma Gifford) would have made him initially concerned with the illustrations that would be published with his text.

Some magazines treated the illustrator's work with great respect, and presented the illustrations themselves as works of art. For those magazines which were issued monthly, more time could be spent on preparing illustrations and their engravings onto the wood block. The quality of the illustrations in some cases was superb. According to Pennell, the quality of work in Good Wordr was so excellent that he contended the magazine was one of the "most important art journals England has ever seen ....

By the time he accepted the commission to illustrate Hardy's novel, therefore, he was no unknown artist in the field of fiction illustration. His chief fame, however, rests upon his Punch illustrations dealing with the foibles of the upper middle-class drawing room. Very little communication took place between Hardy and Du Maurier on the strategy of the Ethelberta illustrations. Although Hardy was by now familiar with the advantages of effective illustration, he was still content with leaving the matter of dealing with the artist in the hands of his editor.

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