An original illustration from Moll Flanders by David Palladini
This original pen and ink illustration by David Palladini uses moody shades of grey to capture a desolate 18th century English street scene. A disheveled woman with a young child and dog navigate the empty cobblestone streets that weave and wind between the towering architecture that is a mixture of Georgian and Tudor.
This beautifully detailed illustration was featured on page 207 of the 1978 Franklin Library publication of Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe.
The margins and cover sheet of this illustration feature publication notations and the artist’s ink stamp.
This illustration is un-signed.
The Franklin Library’s original illustration commissions
From its founding in 1973 until its closing in 2000 The Franklin Library produced public domain classic books as well as some limited first editions, releasing them in subscription series such as The 100 Greatest Books of All Time. Often released in parallel series including leather bound and a non-leather bound (leatherette), the books were handsomely bound and included numerous original illustrations from contemporary artists.
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders
Moll Flanders is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age.
By 1721, Defoe had become a recognized novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. His political work was tapering off at this point, due to the fall of both Whig and Tory party leaders with whom he had been associated; Robert Walpole was beginning his rise, and Defoe was never fully at home with the Walpole group. Defoe’s Whig views are nevertheless evident in the story of Moll, and the novel’s full title gives some insight into this and the outline of the plot.
It is usually assumed that the novel was written by Daniel Defoe, and his name is commonly given as the author in modern printings of the novel. However, the original printing did not have an author, as it was an apparent autobiography. The attribution of Moll Flanders to Defoe was made by bookseller Francis Noble in 1770, after Defoe’s death in 1731. The novel is based partially on the life of Moll King, a London criminal whom Defoe met while visiting Newgate Prison.
Historically, the book was occasionally the subject of police censorship.
About the artist: David Palladini
David Palladini is an American illustrator, best known for his Aquarian Tarot decks and children’s book illustrations, especially his illustrations for The Girl Who Cried Flowers by Jane Yolen. His style is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau illustrations of Alfons Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley.
Born in Italy and emigrated to America as a child, David Palladini’s dual cultural background is expressed in the lush creativity of his work. After studying art, photography, and film at New York’s Pratt Institute, David’s first professional assignment was as a photographer for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
He illustrated the novel The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, and Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley (her first novel). The Eyes of the Dragon artwork was rendered in pencil and ink on Bienfeng velour paper.
David’s newest work is his artistic memoir, The Journal of an Artist, a bracingly honest look at a man who chose to honor his authentic path by devoting his life to art. The book is published by Black Swan Press.
David has worked and lived in The Hamptons (New York State), Jamaica, and France. David recently passed away on 13 March 2019.