From the Christmas Stories
Twenty-nine Illustrations of Great Expectations (from the Household Edition)
Many of these small-scale plates contain just two or three figures, having the effect of a television mid-range shot; the plate on page 48 (114 in the Collier edition) contains four figures cleverly balanced and juxtaposed, Joe and Pip right, Miss Havisham and the shadowy Estella immediately behind her, left, to suggest that Estella is Miss Havisham's apprentice in the ghastly "trade" of breaking men's hearts. A pattern in these 28 plates is that, in illustrations containing three figures, one is often the observer, as in "Orlick . . . . Was Very Soon Among the Coal-dust, and in No Hurry To Come Out of It" (p. 53; p. 129 in the Collier edition), in which a small Pip observes the battling giants from the right, or in "'Now This,' Said Mr. Trabb . . . . 'Is a Very Sweet Article" in which Trabb's boy is the observer. Such "group" plates as that on page 77 (Collier edn., p. 187) and that on page 116 (Collier edn., p. 273) tend to be rather cluttered, despite the artist's best attempts at using block groups, costume, gender, and gesture to provide a focus and an organisational principle.
One of the best group plates, the significant scene in which Estella insists Pip take her purse on page 124 (Collier ed., p. 294), involves the foregrounding of the two principals while other figures go about their affairs (we note that one of the porters in the right foreground appears to be observing and overhearing the conversation, exactly as the readers are). The artist has generally avoided single-figure compositions, so that Pip's return home, in the garb of a London "gentleman" on page 129 (Collier edn., p. 309) admirably conveys a sense of the protagonist's sense of dislocation and alienation, a dark pillar against the white plaster walls of the village cottages in the background. The running head "How My Sister's Death Affected Me" underscores the reflective the mood created by the plate. — >Philip V. Allingham
Running heads for the British Household Edition of Great Expectations
The running heads for the pages on which plates are situated in the British Household edition (not found in the Collier edition of 1900) are as follows:
- Page 16.
- Touching Joe's Education. Page 21.
- A Wilderness. Page 29.
- Page 44.
- Page 48.
- Old Orlick and Mrs. Joe. Page 53.
- Page 60.
- Page 72.
- Mr. Jaggers's Clients. Page 77.
- Page 92.
- An Invitation to Dinner. Page 97.
- Page 104.
- Page 116.
- Page 124.
- How My Sister's Death Affected Me. Page 129.
- I Have a Word or Two with My Guardian. Page 133.
- Page 144.
- He Explains My Great Mistake. Page 149.
- Page 152.
- Page 164.
- Page 168.
- Page 180.
- Page 188.
- Page 200.
- Page 216.
- Page 224.
- Great Expectations (sitemap in the Dickens section)
- A Comparison of Fraser's Illustrations in the original 1870s Household Edition plates and those in the Collier New York edition of 1900
- J. Clayton Clarke ("Kyd")
- Felix O. C. Darley (2 plates)
- Harry Furniss
- Frederic W. Pailthorpe (12 plates)
- Marcus Stone (10 plates)
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Volume 6 of the Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1871-1880 [this volume c. 1877]. Note: All material is reproduced courtesy of The Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LF.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900. The plates in Collier edition were taken directly from the Household Edition, but were somewhat trimmed left and right to accommodate the slightly reduced width of the pages.
Last modified 26 April 2016