Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E , Case MB4R, Shelf I, Box 139(i)

The Case of Delicacy

Illustration
1927 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is one of a number of illustrations created by Véra Willoughby (1870-1939) for an edition of Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published in 1927. It was long considered that Willougby was born in Hungary but this was a fabrication apparently to appear more interesting. She was in fact from South Norwood and attended the Slade School of Art in London. In 1917 she met a much younger man, Peter Llewelyn Davies, who had been the inspiration for J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Davies went on to become a publisher, commissioning her to create the illustrations for A Sentimental Journey and other texts.

The image relates to the novel's final chapter, entitled The Case of Delicacy. Parson Yorick is obliged to share his hotel room with a lady and her maid, so they meet to draw up a set of house rules. "We sat down to supper; and had we not had more generous wine to it than a little inn in Savoy could have furnished, our tongues would have been tied up, till necessity herself had set them at liberty - but the lady having a few bottles of Burgundy in her voiture sent down her fille de chambre for a couple of them..." Yorick and the lady finally retire to separate beds and a night of erotic tension, with the maid close at hand.

Willoughby also produced a number of theatrical designs and illustrations in the early 1920s, using the name Vera Petrovna.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
pencil
Brief Description
Véra Willoughby. A man and woman seated at a table on which are wine glasses, bottles and a candle, within a decorative border. Drawing used as illustration to Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, published by Peter Davies, London, 1927
Physical Description
Drawing
Dimensions
  • Height: in
  • Width: in
Credit line
Given by Mrs. Althea Wolton, the artist's daughter
Literary ReferenceLaurence Sterne. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
Summary
This is one of a number of illustrations created by Véra Willoughby (1870-1939) for an edition of Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published in 1927. It was long considered that Willougby was born in Hungary but this was a fabrication apparently to appear more interesting. She was in fact from South Norwood and attended the Slade School of Art in London. In 1917 she met a much younger man, Peter Llewelyn Davies, who had been the inspiration for J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Davies went on to become a publisher, commissioning her to create the illustrations for A Sentimental Journey and other texts.



The image relates to the novel's final chapter, entitled The Case of Delicacy. Parson Yorick is obliged to share his hotel room with a lady and her maid, so they meet to draw up a set of house rules. "We sat down to supper; and had we not had more generous wine to it than a little inn in Savoy could have furnished, our tongues would have been tied up, till necessity herself had set them at liberty - but the lady having a few bottles of Burgundy in her voiture sent down her fille de chambre for a couple of them..." Yorick and the lady finally retire to separate beds and a night of erotic tension, with the maid close at hand.



Willoughby also produced a number of theatrical designs and illustrations in the early 1920s, using the name Vera Petrovna.



Bibliographic References
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1951, London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1962.
  • Laurence Sterne. A Sentimental Journey Through France & Italy, by Mr. Yorick. London: Peter Davies, 1927. (The illustration by Véra Willoughby appears between pp.196-197).
Collection
Accession Number
E.84-1951

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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