"Do you call it managing this establishment, madam," said Mr. Dombey, "to leave a person like this at liberty to come and talk to me?" — Fred Barnard's forty-fourth illustration for Dickens's Dombey and Son, Household Edition (1877), half-page, p. 316 (scene from chap. xliv). Wood engraving by the Dalziels, 4 ⅛ x 5 ⅜ inches (10.5 by 13.7 cm), framed. Running head: "Which Results in her Discharge," 315. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated: Susan Nipper calls out Mr. Dombey as a negligent parent

Susan favoured Mrs Pipchin with a look she had invented expressly for her when they first became acquainted, and resigned the reply to Mr Dombey.

"What’s this?" repeated Mr Dombey, almost foaming. "What’s this, Madam? You who are at the head of this household, and bound to keep it in order, have reason to inquire. Do you know this woman?"

"I know very little good of her, Sir," croaked Mrs. Pipchin. "How dare you come here, you hussy? Go along with you!"

But the inflexible Nipper, merely honouring Mrs. Pipchin with another look, remained.

"Do you call it managing this establishment, Madam," said Mr. Dombey, "to leave a person like this at liberty to come and talk to me! A gentleman— in his own house — in his own room — assailed with the impertinences of women-servants!"

"Well, Sir," returned Mrs. Pipchin, with vengeance in her hard grey eye, "I exceedingly deplore it; nothing can be more irregular; nothing can be more out of all bounds and reason; but I regret to say, Sir, that this young woman is quite beyond control. She has been spoiled by Miss Dombey, and is amenable to nobody. You know you’re not," said Mrs. Pipchin, sharply, and shaking her head at Susan Nipper. "For shame, you hussy! Go along with you!" [Chapter 44, "A Separation," 315]

Pertinent Scenes from Other Illustrated Editions (1847 and 1910)

Left: Phiz's depiction of Florence's having to part with her maid after Susan has confronted the father about his lack of empathy: Florence parts from a Very Old Friend (November 1847). Right: Harry Furniss's dramatic realisation of the situation that leads to Susan's dismissal: Susan Nipper and Mr. Dombey (1910).

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.]


Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Phiz. (Hablot K. Browne). London: Chapman and Hall, 1848.

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

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Fred Barnard [62 composite wood-block engravings]. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1877. XV.

"Dombey and Son — Sixty-two Illustrations by Fred Barnard." Scenes and Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens, Being Eight Hundred and Sixty-six Drawings by Fred Barnard, Gordon Thomson, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), J. McL. Ralston, J. Mahoney, H. French, Charles Green, E. G. Dalziel, A. B. Frost, F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1907.

Created 7 January 2020