In anticipation of Dickens's long-awaited 1867-68 reading tour, which had been postponed by the American Civil War, the Boston publisher James T. Fields had commissioned from Eytinge ninety-six designs for wood-engravings to grace the pages of the exhaustive Diamond Edition of Dickens's works, each volume being of compact dimensions with very fine but sharp type. This volume, moreover, coincided that momentous visit to American shores.

On the verso of the title-page is the statement that James T. Fields, the author's friend and confidant, so valued since it authorized his firm as Dickens's sole representatives in the United States:

Gad's Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Second April, 1867.
By a special arrangement made with me and my English Publishers (partners with me in the copyright of my works), MESSRS. TICKNOR AND FIELDS, of Boston, have become the only authorized representatives in America of the whole series of my books.

William Winter in his autobiography recalls that Sol Eytinge, Jr.'s illustrations for Dickens's works "gained the emphatic approval of the novelist" (318), although of course the pair did not actively collaborate on this series, as did Hablot Knight Browne and Dickens had done for so many of the full-scale novels in nineteen monthly parts (the last instalment always a "double" number), concluding with the illustrations for Chapman and Hall's much shorter serialisation, A Tale of Two Cities, in 1859. As one regards this series of sixteen individual and group character studies for Dombey and Son (1867) and appreciates them as exemplars of the new realism of the the sixties' manner of book and magazine illustration, one is tempted to agree with Winter that "The most appropriate pictures that have been made for illustration of the novels of Dickens, — pictures that are truly representative and free from the element of caricature, — are those made by Eytinge" (317-18).

Eytinge's Plates for Dombey and Son, Engraved by A. V. S. Anthony

Although this was Dickens's seventh novel, Ticknor and Fields placed it third in the Diamond Edition, immediately behind The Pickwick Papers and The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, perhaps Dickens's two most popular novels in the United States at the time of the 1867 American Tour. Two decades earlier, Phiz had managed to depict most of the sixty-six named characters in his thirty-eight steel plates. In only sixteen wood-engravings, Eytinge has provided some thirty memorable portraits, often in pairs: all of the story's principals and a number of the major secondary characters, including Major Bagstock's "no-name" factotum, whom Dickens simply calls "The Native."

  1. Frontispiece, Dombey and Son
  2. Mr. and Mrs. Chick, and Miss Tox
  3. Captain Cuttle
  4. The Blimbers and Mr. Feeder
  5. Mr. Carker
  6. Florence Dombey
  7. Sol. Gills and Walter Gay
  8. Major Bagstock and The Native
  9. Edith and Mrs. Skewton
  10. Mrs. Brown and Alice
  11. Rob the Grinder
  12. Mrs. Pipchin and Susan Nipper
  13. Mr. and Mrs. Perch
  14. Mr. Toots and The Chicken
  15. Mrs. MacStinger and Bunsby
  16. Cousin Feenix
  17. Title-page for the "Diamond Edition" of Dombey and Son (1867).

Related Material, including Other Illustrated Editions of Dombey and Son

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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr, and engraved by A. V. S. Anthony. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. III.

_______. Dombey and Son> Illustrated by W. H. C. Groome. London and Glasgow, 1900, rpt. 1934. 2 vols. in one.

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. London: Educational Book, 1910. Vol. 9.

__________. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). 8 coloured plates. London and Edinburgh: Caxton and Ballantyne, Hanson, 1910.

__________. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). The Clarendon Edition, ed. Alan Horsman. Oxford: Clarendon, 1974.

Kitton, Frederic George. Dickens and His Illustrators: Cruikshank, Seymour, Buss, "Phiz," Cattermole, Leech, Doyle, Stanfield, Maclise, Tenniel, Frank Stone, Landseer, Palmer, Topham, Marcus Stone, and Luke Fildes. Amsterdam: S. Emmering, 1972. Re-print of the London 1899 edition.

Schlicke, Paul, ed. The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens. Oxford and New York: Oxford U. P., 1999.

Winter, William. "Charles Dickens" and "Sol Eytinge." Old Friends: Being Literary Recollections of Other Days. New York: Moffat, Yard, & Co., 1909. Pp. 181-202, 317-319.

Created 5 December 2011