xxx xxx

Paul and Mrs. Pipchin in Chapter 8, "Paul’s Further Progress, Growth and Character," study shown to Dickens for the third serial instalment (December 1846), Figure 60 in Steig. Return to text of Steig. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated: The Elderly Brighton Child-Minder, Mrs. Pipchin

At this exemplary old lady, Paul would sit staring in his little arm-chair by the fire, for any length of time. He never seemed to know what weariness was, when he was looking fixedly at Mrs. Pipchin. He was not fond of her; he was not afraid of her; but in those old, old moods of his, she seemed to have a grotesque attraction for him. There he would sit, looking at her, and warming his hands, and looking at her, until he sometimes quite confounded Mrs. Pipchin, Ogress as she was. Once she asked him, when they were alone, what he was thinking about.

"And what are you thinking about me?" asked Mrs Pipchin.

"I’m thinking how old you must be," said Paul.

"You mustn’t say such things as that, young gentleman," returned the dame. "That’ll never do."

"Why not?" asked Paul.

"Because it’s not polite," said Mrs. Pipchin, snappishly.

"Not polite?" said Paul. [Chapter VIII, "Paul’s Further Progress, Growth and Character," in the 1910 edition: p. 81]

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.]


Cohen, Jane Rabb. "Part Two: Dickens and His Principal Illustrator. 4. Hablot Browne." (Part 1). Charles Dickens and His Original Illustrators. Columbus: Ohio U. P., 1980.

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

Lester, Valerie Browne. Ch. 12, "Work, Work, Work." Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens. London: Chatto and Windus, 2004, pp. 128-160.

Steig, Michael. Chapter 4. "Dombey and Son: Iconography of Social and Sexual Satire." Dickens and Phiz. Bloomington & London: Indiana U. P., 1978. 86-112.

Created 8 August 2015

Last modified 3 February 2021