Little Dorrit, Household Edition, 1873. Wood-engraving by the Dalziels, 9.4 cm high by 17.7 cm wide.(See page 95), — Book I, chap. 15, Sixties' illustrator James Mahoney's fourteenth illustration in the Chapman and Hall Household Edition volume of Charles Dickens's
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.]
More afraid of her husband at the moment than of the mysterious sound in the kitchen, Affery crept away as lightly and as quickly as she could, descended the kitchen stairs almost as rapidly as she had ascended them, resumed her seat before the fire, tucked up her skirt again, and finally threw her apron over her head. Then the bell rang once more, and then once more, and then kept on ringing; in despite of which importunate summons, Affery still sat behind her apron, recovering her breath.
At last Mr. Flintwinch came shuffling down the staircase into the hall, muttering and calling 'Affery woman!' all the way. Affery still remaining behind her apron, he came stumbling down the kitchen stairs, candle in hand, sidled up to her, twitched her apron off, and roused her.
"Oh Jeremiah!" cried Affery, waking. "What a start you gave me!"
"What have you been doing, woman?" inquired Jeremiah. "You've been rung for fifty times."
"Oh Jeremiah," said Mistress Affery, "I have been a-dreaming!"
Reminded of her former achievement in that way, Mr. Flintwinch held the candle to her head, as if he had some idea of lighting her up for the illumination of the kitchen. — Book the First, "Poverty," Chapter 15, "Mrs. Flintwinch has another Dream," p. 95.
The Mahoney woodcut in the New York (Harper and Brothers) edition has a much longer caption which is not a summary:— Book 1, chap. xv.
Jeremiah Flintwinch, Affery's irascible husband, harbours a secret from his wife, but in her sleep she apprehends his confidential conversations with their employer, the dour Mrs. Clennam, although the contents of these dialogues so confuse her that she is sure that she must have dreamed them, as well as the strange noises emanating from the walls of the house, quite unlike the "rats, cats, water, [and] drains" that her husband proposes as the cause. Affery is utterly bewildered how, in her fugue state, Jeremiah can be so assertive with Mrs. Clennam, and what secret the pair are keeping from her that concerns Little Dorrit.
Scenes for "Affery's Dream" in the original, Diamond, and Charles Dickens Library Editions, 1856 to 1873
Left: Eytinge, Junior's dual study of the perpetually anxious Affery and her rough-and-ready husband, Mrs. Clennam's confidential servant, Mr. and Mrs. Flintwinch (1867), as described in Book 1, Chapter 3. Right: The American Household Edition frontispiece depicting Mrs. Clennam, Affery, Flintwinch, and Blandois, Closing In — Book II, Ch. XXX (1863). [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Above: Phiz's original serial version of the same "downstairs" scene in the kitchen, Mr. and Mrs. Flintwich (April 1856: Part Five). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Bentley, Nicolas, Michael Slater, and Nina Burgis. The Dickens Index. New York and Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1990.
Cohen, Jane Rabb. Charles Dickens and His Original Illustrators. Columbus: Ohio State U. P., 1980.
Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Checkmark and Facts On File, 1999.
Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"). The Authentic Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1901 [rpt. of the 1868 volume, based on the 30 May 1857 volume].
Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by F. O. C. Darley and John Gilbert. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. New York: Sheldon and Company, 1863. Vol. 1.
Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by James Mahoney [58 composite wood-block engravings]. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1873.
Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by Harry Furniss [29 composite lithographs]. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1919. Vol. 12.
Hammerton, J. A. "Chapter 19: Little Dorrit." The Dickens Picture-Book. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910. Vol. 17. Pp. 398-427.
"Little Dorrit — Fifty-eight Illustrations by James Mahoney." Scenes and Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens, Being Eight Hundred and Sixty-six Drawings by Fred Barnard, Gordon Thomson, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), J. McL. Ralston, J. Mahoney, H. French, Charles Green, E. G. Dalziel, A. B. Frost, F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1907.
Vann, J. Don. Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: Modern Language Association, 1985.
Last modified 3 May 2016