Madam Gruffanuff Finds a Husband by M. A. Titmarsh [W. M. Thackeray], 1855. Wood-engraving, probably by William Linton. 9 cm high by 11.7 cm wide (3 ½ by 4 ½ inches), vignetted, final illustration and seventh full-page illustration for The Rose and The Ring, p. 435. Descriptive headlines: "Plans of Rogues are Often Crost, Gruffy's Husband's Won and Lost" (pp. 424-427). [Click on image to enlarge it; mouse over links.]

Passage Illustrated: Resolving the marital status of Mrs. Gruffanuff

‘You won’t let him off his bargain, though you know you cheated him when you made him sign the paper?’

‘Impudence! Policemen, remove this woman!’ cries Gruffanuff. And the policemen were rushing forward, but with a wave of her wand the Fairy struck them all like so many statues in their places.

‘You won’t take anything in exchange for your bond, Mrs. Gruffanuff,’ cries the Fairy, with awful severity. ‘I speak for the last time.’

‘No!’ shrieks Gruffanuff, stamping with her foot. ‘I’ll have my husband, my husband, my husband!’

‘You SHALL HAVE YOUR HUSBAND!’ the Fairy Blackstick cried; and advancing a step, laid her hand upon the nose of the KNOCKER.

As she touched it, the brass nose seemed to elongate, the open mouth opened still wider, and uttered a roar which made everybody start. The eyes rolled wildly; the arms and legs uncurled themselves, writhed about, and seemed to lengthen with each twist; the knocker expanded into a figure in yellow livery, six feet high; the screws by which it was fixed to the door unloosed themselves, and JENKINS GRUFFANUFF once more trod the threshold off which he had been lifted more than twenty years ago!

‘Master’s not at home,’ says Jenkins, just in his old voice; and Mrs. Jenkins, giving a dreadful youp, fell down in a fit, in which nobody minded her. [Chapter XIX, "And Now We Come to the Last Scene in the Pantomime," 427]


With a return to the large-headed courtiers in eighteenth-century fashions we return to the style of pantomime that Thackeray established in his opening illustrations after the more realistic scene of Jacky holding Mrs. Gruffanuff's train in the garden. This is just one of seven illustrations in The Rose and the Ring for which Thackeray provides a caption, and it is but one of the same seven engravings appearing on separate pages without text.

The Other Six Full-Page Illustrations

Image scan 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. ]


Furniss, Harry. The Rose and The Ring; or, The History of Prince Giglio and the Prince Bulbo. William Makepeace Thackeray's Christmas Books. With illustrations by the author and Harry Furniss. The Harry Furniss Centenary Edition. London: Macmillan and Co., 1911. Pp. 287-428.

Titmarsh, M. A. [W. M. Thackeray]. The Rose and The Ring London: Smith, Elder, 1855.

Created 27 July 2022