At the Jolly Bargemen [shortly before Jaggers reveals {Pip's great expectations] fourth illustration, by Charles Green. 1898. 3 ½ inches high by 5 ⅜ inches wide (9 cm high by 13.7 cm wide). Dickens's Great Expectations, Gadshill Edition, in which the plates have neither captions nor page numbers, being inserted into the text; the editor, Andrew Lang, has provided, however, a separate "List of Illustrations" for ten plates, including the Frontispiece.

Context of the Illustration: Introducing the Criminal Barrister

Then, and not sooner, I became aware of a strange gentleman leaning over the back of the settle opposite me, looking on. There was an expression of contempt on his face, and he bit the side of a great forefinger as he watched the group of faces.

"Well!" said the stranger to Mr. Wopsle, when the reading was done, "you have settled it all to your own satisfaction, I have no doubt?"

Everybody started and looked up, as if it were the murderer. He looked at everybody coldly and sarcastically.

"Guilty, of course?" said he. "Out with it. Come!"

"Sir," returned Mr. Wopsle, "without having the honor of your acquaintance, I do say Guilty." Upon this we all took courage to unite in a confirmatory murmur.

"I know you do," said the stranger; "I knew you would. I told you so. But now I'll ask you a question. Do you know, or do you not know, that the law of England supposes every man to be innocent, until he is proved—proved—to be guilty?"

"Sir," Mr. Wopsle began to reply, "as an Englishman myself, I —"

"Come!" said the stranger, biting his forefinger at him. "Don't evade the question. Either you know it, or you don’t know it. Which is it to be?" [Chapter XVIII]


To introduce Jaggers into the narrative-pictorial sequence, The Annotated Dickens provides the following caption, which is not actually in the Gadshill Edition: "He bit the side of a great forefinger as he watched the group" (Ch. 18). His arrival signals the great shift in Pip's social status, from apprentice blacksmith to the highest echelons of the middle class. However, Pip's associating Jaggers with the file here used to severe Magwitch's fetters should have pointed Pip in the correct direction as to the source of his great expectations — to Magwitch rather than the local eccentric heiress, Miss Havisham. The file and Jaggers' general secretiveness intensify the mystery surrounding Pip's new-found fortune.

Depictions of Jaggers in other editions of Great Expectations

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. This image is reproduced courtesy of The Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LF.]


Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations.  Illustrated by Charles Green. Gadshill Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1897-1908. Note: All material is reproduced courtesy of The Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LF.

_____. Great Expectations. Ed. Edward Guiliano and Philip Collins. The Annotated Dickens. 2 vols. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1988. II, 822-1115.

Created 24 April 2004

Last modified 2 March 2020