Little Nell is Anxious by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz). Wood engraving, 3 ½ x 4 ½ inches (9 x 11.4 cm). — Chapter 6, The Old Curiosity Shop, Part Five. Date of original serial publication: 6 June 1840. Master Humphrey's Clock, Part 8, 109. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated

Right: Phiz's initial letter vignette "L," showing Nell with her caged bird: June monthly part (1841).

Little Nell stood timidly by, with her eyes raised to the countenance of Mr. Quilp as he read the letter, plainly showing by her looks that while she entertained some fear and distrust of the little man, she was much inclined to laugh at his uncouth appearance and grotesque attitude. And yet there was visible on the part of the child a painful anxiety for his reply, and consciousness of his power to render it disagreeable or distressing, which was strongly at variance with this impulse and restrained it more effectually than she could possibly have done by any efforts of her own. [Chapter VI, 109]

Related Resources Including Other Illustrated Editions

Scanned image by Simon Cooke; colour correction, sizing, caption, and commentary 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.] Click on the image to enlarge it.


Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"), George Cattermole, and Daniel Maclise. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841. Rpt., 1849 by Bradbury and Evans (3 vols. in 2).

Created 10 May 2020

Last modified 10 August 2020