This comic representation of Woolner takes off from the legends associated with fire damp in British,
and especially Welsh, collieries. Explosions from methane and other gases were ascribed
to "fire fiends" lurking in the mines. DGR imagines Woolner cooped in his room, brooding. Woolner's
posture distinctly recalls DGR's representation of the narrator of
Poe's "The Raven", though here the design is even more claustrophobic.
DGR sent this drawing and the drawing of
in a letter to Thomas Woolner of 1 January 1853 (see
The original drawing has not appeared. It was reproduced in 1917 in Amy Woolner's Thomas Woolner R.A. Sculptor and Poet.