Left: "She hurriedly put her work aside." (Ch. 8). Left of centre: "Papa, what's money?" (Ch. 8). Right of centre: Bunsby put his arm around Mrs. MacStinger (Ch. 39). Right: The unfortunate Native suffered terribly (Ch. 57)

Dombey and Son: two volumes in one (1900, rpt. 1934)

  1. Frontispiece, She hurriedly put her work aside (see p. 114)
  2. "Papa! What's money?" (see p. 98)
  3. Florence kissed him on the cheek (see p. 260)
  4. "I'll call it after her." (see p. 375)
  5. They were received by the matron (see II, p. 178)
  6. "Let us have no turning out." (see II, p. 38)
  7. Bunsby put his arm around Mrs. MacStinger (see II, p. 117)
  8. The unfortunate Native suffered terribly. (see II, p. 358)

Of the eight small-scale lithographs, three in some way involve Florence. Characters in order of appearance and frequency: Florence (plates 1, 3, and 5); Paul Dombey (plates 1 and 2); Toots (plates 3 and 5); Carker (plates 4 and 6); Captain Cuttle (plates 6 and 7); Mr. Dombey (plate 2); Good Mrs. Brown (plate 4); Edith Granger (plate 4); Susan Nipper (plate 5); Bunsby (plate 7); Mrs. MacStinger (plate 7); Major Bagstock  (plate 8); The Native (plate 8). Groome's eight lithographs contain a total of thirteen named characters in a novel that originally had five times that number of illustrations (1846-48).

Groome's eight Edwardian illustrations reveal, despite their small dimensions (12.4 cm high by 8.0 cm wide, on pages measuring 15.2 cm by 9.5 cm — the standard for the Collins' Clear-type Editions), a sure sense of composition, even though he depicts character at the expense of background. Groome prefers scenes between a limited number of characters, such as "She hurriedly put her work aside" for Ch. VIII (a response to Fred Barnard's illustration of Listening to the Sea.Florence and Little Paul on the beach at Brighton in the Household Edition.

Number of appearances by twenty-one characters

Groome, like Eytinge and other 19th c. illustrators working in small scale plates, focuses on just five characters in the majority of his lithographs for the 1846-48 Dickens novel. Whereas four of the eight illustrations (50%) involve just two characters, he has no single character studies, and only a single illustration involving five or more characters (Mrs. Macstinger's wedding day). Florence and Paul Dombey, Captain Cuttle, Susan Nipper, and James Carker each appear in two of the eight illustrations. Consequently, just five characters dominate the sort series, and, significantly, the eponymous character with whom the narrative begins and ends, Mr. Dombey, appears just once. Groome's emphasis reflects, in part, the popularity over fifty years of such secondary characters as the devoted maid, Susan Nipper and the genial old salt, Captain  Cuttle, and Groome's assessment of the importance of Florence and her father's duplicitous manager, Carker. In conclusion, four characters dominate the program: Florence, Paul, Cuttle, and Susan. Significantly absent among the secondary characters are Polly, Toodle, Rob, Dr. Blimber and his family, Alice Marwood, Miss Tox, Mrs. Skewton, and Mrs. Pipchin.

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Created 7 August 2020

Last modified 4 July 2022