Bestselling ‘beeldekens’. Hendrik Consciences “Hoe men schilder wordt” (1843) en de negentiende-eeuwse populaire beeldcultuur
Around the mid-nineteenth century, European literature abounded with book illustrations and the use of a pictorial style. Depending on the context and perspective, this literary fashion was associated with a threatening democratization of literature or perceived as a chance to reach new audiences. This article investigates whether the striking interactions between text and image in the internationally popular novella Hoe men schilder wordt (1843) by the Flemish author Hendrik Conscience can be regarded as a factor in its nineteenth-century popularity, and as a starting point for Conscience’s current image as an author of ‘popular’ literature, aiming at broad upcoming audiences.