Imagining the Unimaginable: Illustration as Gateway

  • Kate Newell
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture book series (PSADVC)


Illustration, I argue in this chapter, contributes to a given work’s adaptation network by establishing distinctive iconography and by distilling a work to representative scenes, moments, and elements. The aspects of a prose work that illustrators depict (and how they do so) correspond to those similarly reinforced in other illustrated editions as well as in film adaptations. Looking to several sets of illustrations of Henry James’s novellas Daisy Miller and Washington Square and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I consider how similarities in content and tone among the sets suggest a consensus on what “counts” in the work and point to the reiterative process by which the cultural knowledge and memory of a particular work is constructed. This chapter examines some ways in which illustrations in illustrated novels are coded to elicit particular readings that can impact readers’ interpretations of a work by resolving ambiguities or visualizing aspects absent from the prose narrative.


Picture Book Female Character Social Convention Adaptation Network Narrative Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Newell
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannahUSA

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