Cinderella, leaving the Royal Palace after the Clock had Struck Twelve! (7.2 cm high by 10 cm wide, facing page 19) — the seventh illustration for both the single-volume edition of 1854 and for the third tale in the 1865 anthology, George Cruikshank's Fairy Library. The enchanted pumpkin and its attendants are in their natural shape again, just outside the palace gates, whose metal studding and metal spikes across the top imply the exclusion of undesirables. The guards casually glance at the departing servant-girl, obviously unaware of the startling transformations that have just occurred. Just glimpsed through the open gateway is the Prince leading the search.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

The illustrations appearing here are from the collection of the commentator.

Passage Illustrated

The Prince had given orders to his pages to let him know instantly if they saw the beautiful Princess's carriage approaching ; and when he heard that it was really driving into the court-yard, he flew down to receive Cinderella again, and again he conducted her, with a light heart and a smiling face, to the presence of his Royal parents, who were again delighted to see their beautiful visitor. She again became the principal object of attraction and conversation, and the Prince took the first opportunity to declare himself her admirer, and to ask her to become his bride. Her reply was, that she must consult her father and friends; and he was about to beg that he might be allowed to pay his respects to them immediately, when the clock began to strike the hour of Twelve! she started up, and hastily quitted the apartment. The Prince, determined not to lose sight of her this time, followed Cinderella, for the purpose of escorting her home ; but as he hurried after her, his attention was attracted by one of her beautiful glass slippers, which had slipped off her foot in her haste to gain the outer gate. As he stooped to pick up the glass slipper, Cinderella turned into one of the passages, and he lost sight of her. When she got as far as the court-yard, the palace clock struck the last stroke of Twelve! Instantly her dress was changed into her kitchen garb, and, as she passed the outer gate, the grand coach and all were again changed to pumpkin, mushrooms, rat, mice, and lizards.

The Prince, who had taken a wrong turning in the passages in pursuit of Cinderella, was, however, at the gate soon after she had passed, and inquired of the guards if they had seen the beautiful Princess pass, and which way the carriage had gone; but they all declared that no one, except a scullery maid, had passed out, and, upon looking for her coach, it was nowhere to be seen. The Prince ordered them to go and seek it in every direction; and he, even in his ball-dress, mounted a horse and dashed down the road the Princess had been seen to come. — "Cinderella and The Glass Slipper," pp. 18-16.

The Context in Perrault

The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed even more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome to her, and, indeed, she quite forgot what her godmother had told her. She thought that it was no later than eleven when she counted the clock striking twelve. She jumped up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up most carefully. She reached home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, the mate to the one that she had dropped.

The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They replied that they had seen nobody leave but a young girl, very shabbily dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.

When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them if they had been well entertained, and if the fine lady had been there.

They told her, yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had picked up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper. — Chales Perrault, "Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper."

The other scenes containing the Prince

Left: George Cruikshank's initial realisation of the handsome Prince, left, as he discovers and is about to pick up the glass slipper which Cinderella has just lost, The Prince, picking up Cinderella's Glass Slipper (1854). Centre: The finalé of the romance of the Prince and the pauper, The Marriage of Cinderella to The Prince (facing page 26). Right: Cruikshank's exciting scene in which the Prince fits the magic slipper on the heroine, with the Fairy Godmother watching the proceedings from the side, Cinderella having fitted on the Glass Slipper produces its Fellow (facing p. 20). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


Without the benefit of her fairy-guide or mentor, the protagonist commits errors in both of the frames facing page 19; in the former illustration, The Prince, picking up Cinderella's Glass Slipper, she has lost one of her glass slippers as she panics about the lateness of the hour. In the present illustration, on the night of the second ball, Cinderella, leaving the Royal Palace after the Clock had Struck Twelve!, having lingered too long, Cinderella is left without an equipage to take her home, barely escaping from the palace before the reverse transformation is complete. With torchlight, mysterious shadows, guards in plate armour and carrying halberds, we are suddenly transported to the stage-set of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The transformation must just have occurred, for the lizards are still holding their staves, and the mice are still attached to the pumpkin — Cruikshank explains subsequently that creatures drag the coach back to Cinderella's kitchen. The artist employs chiaroscuro (presumably from torches in the courtyard) to highlight the sentry-station, the three guards chatting idly, and the studded door; in the darkness (left), another three guards, again holding halberds, are conversing; unlike their fellows inside, they take no notice of the slightly-build young woman running past them, or at the vermin and vegetable still rolling along like a royal carriage in a flea circus. She escapes the Prince, although he is on horseback, and arrives at the garden-gate just before he gallops past: "The garden gate was open, but no godmother was there; she saw the pumpkin coach roll in, and the gate shut after it, and had just time to get inside the kitchen-door as the Prince galloped furiously past" (19).

In the first panel [on the insert facing p. 19] the hopeful Prince picks up Cinderella's glass slipper. This fateful clue will allow him to search far and wide for the woman he fell in love with at the palace balls. Although he is searching for a highborn maiden who charmed the room with her finery, grace, and beauty, Cinderella loses her godmother-given trappings when the clock strikes twelve. The second image [on the same page] depicts Cinderella's transition from her ball gown to her original apparel. Slipping past the guards, Cinderella has placed the remaining glass slipper in her pocket and continues on foot. — Tulane University. "George Cruikshank — 'Cinderella',"

Related Materials


Bentley, Nicolas; Michael Slater and Nina Burgis. The Dickens Index. Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1990.

British Library. "George Cruikshank's Fairy Library." Romantics and Victorians.

Chesson, W. H. "From George Cruikshank's Fairy Library, 'Cinderella,' 1854." George Cruikshank. London: Duckworth, 1920.

Cohen, Jane Rabb. Part One, "Dickens and His Early Illustrators: 1. George Cruikshank. Charles Dickens and His Original Illustrators. Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1980. Pp. 15-38.

Cruikshank, George. Cinderella and The Glass Slipper. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. The third volume in George Cruikshank's Fairy Library. London: David Bogue, 1854. (Price one shilling) 10 etchings on 6 tipped-in pages, including frontispiece.

Cruikshank, George. George Cruikshank's Fairy Library: "Hop-O'-My-Thumb," "Jack and the Bean-Stalk," "Cinderella," "Puss in Boots". London: George Bell, 1865.

Dickens, Charles. "Frauds on the Fairies." Household Words. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens.. 1 October 1853. No. 184, Vol. VIII. Pp. 97-100.

Guildhall Library blog. "A Gem from Guildhall Library's Shelves: George Cruikshank's Fairy Library by George Cruikshank published by Routledge in London (c. 1870)." 8 August 2014.

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University. "George Cruikshank."

Hubert, Judd D. "George Cruikshank's Graphic and Textual Reactions to Mother Goose." Marvels & Tales, Volume 25, Number 2, 2011 (pp. 286-297). Project Muse.

Kitton, Frederic G. "George Cruikshank." Dickens and His Illustrators. London: Chapman & Hall, 1899. Pp. 1-28.

Kotzin, Michael C. Dickens and the Fairy Tale. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1972.

Perrault, Charles. "Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper." Fairy Tales and Other Traditional Stories. Lit2Go.

Schlicke, Paul. "Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens. Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1999. Pp. 231-232.

Vogler, Richard, The Graphic Works of George Cruikshank. New York: Dover, 1979.

Last modified 2 July 2017