"A Knock at the Door"

Harry Furniss


14 x 9.6 cm vignetted

Twenty-eighth illustration for A Tale of Two Cities in A Tale of Two Cities, American Notes, Pictures from Italy, Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910), vol. 13, facing p. 280.

The essential difference between Furniss's impressionistic treatment of the celebrated scene of Darnay's second arrest by the Revolutionary authorities and earlier treatments by Phiz and MacLenan is a shift in emphasis. Whereas the earlier illustrators have focussed on Darnay, his wife, and child, Furniss has placed them in the background and foregrounded the sanguinary fourth Jacobin, who smokes his pipe and smiles as if this were a routine call rather than an apprehension in a capital trial. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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