Magazine Illustrations


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The first visualizations of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions were the illustrations drawn to accompany the publication of his short stories in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Scribner's and Collier's, the large circulation periodicals that Faulkner regularly submitted work to in his quest for income. Although Faulkner occasionally worked directly with the magazines' editors to revise a story, there is no evidence that he had any control over - or even interest in - the way these magazines illustrated his texts. The illustrations can, however, help us appreciate the way Faulkner's world, and the people of different races and classes who inhabit it, appeared to his original readers.

The following items are drawn from the William Faulkner Foundation Collection at the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (
Click on any image to see an enlargement.


"Ambuscade" was the first of five Unvanquished stories published in The Saturday Evening Post between September 1934 and December 1936. All five were illustrated by F[rederic] R[odrigo] Gruger, a prolific magazine and newspaper illustrator. The "Ambuscade" illustrations represent (below left) the scene in Joby's cabin that Bayard and Ringo see through the window, right after Loosh tells the other slaves that "the Race gonter all be free!" (23), and (below right) the argument between the Yankee sergeant and his commanding officer in the Sartoris parlor (30). Louvinia is the only character who appears in both illustrations.

Page 12, 29 September 1934 Saturday Evening Post     Page 13, 29 September 1934 Saturday Evening Post

      Citing this source:
Stephen Railton, "Illustrating 'Ambuscade,'" Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia,   (Date added to project: 2018)
Illustrations © The Saturday Evening Post.