For today’s episode in the history of your friend, Ally Sloper, let us not dwell on the subject matter (which is, I freely admit, a base tale somewhat influenced by a particular fashion of the time as can be noted in such things as Mr. Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend and the real-life case of The Tichborne Claimant); but let us instead talk about the fine artists who worked on my tales.

As we have noted in previous episodes, the principle fellow who committed my likeness to the page was Charles H. Ross who was none other than the editor of the illustrious ‘Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal’. He was the one what recognised my genius and the first to bring me to the attention of the public and you can see his moniker on most of the plates in this story.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, cast your eyes to the title of this piece and you will spy a different set of initials; here we have MD. This is of course the enigmatic young wife of Mr. Ross (as we have briefly discussed in previous episodes) who went under the nom de plume of Marie Duval, but whose real name was Isabelle Émilie de Tessier. Aah, Ms. Duval, she would go on to take me by the hand through the next decade or two of my literary career. An original and a true pioneer.

Of course, if you would like to know more about the life and works of the wonderful Ms. Duval then you can do so by purchasing this splendid volume by the eminent scholars, Simon Grennan, Julian Waite & Roger Sabin:

Or, if you’re a bit of an old skinflint, then those same fine fellows have a website all about Ms. Duval here:

And so, on with the story. Join me next time for a tale of grifting and gooses!

judy or the london serio comic journal - ally sloper - a child of mystery - 1869