He saw a female figure standing by, orrather leaning against the nearest trunk; the attitude was one of distress by Fred Barnard. 8 cm high by 13 cm wide (3 ⅛ x 5 ¼ inches). Headpiece (vignetted) for Gissing's "The Fate of Humphrey Snell" The English Illustrated Magazine (October 1895) p. 3, ed. Clement Shorter. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Humphrey's first glimpse of the distraught Annie Frost

Here was the verge of open country — broad meadows gently rising to wooded hills. The town lay hidden by the ancient structures whereat he marvelled. No ordinary habitation could be seen, and not a sound was audible, save that music of the rushing water. Feeling no desire of sleep, and reluctant to turn away, Humphrey retraced his steps along the moat. On reaching the corner where the rank ofgreat elms began, he saw a female figure standing by, or rather leaning against the nearest trunk; the attitude was one of distress — arms raised and headbent. Startled, he moved aside, and was endeavouring to pass without drawing attention, when the person suddenly faced him; in the shadow of the trees he could only ascertain that she was of girlish appearance, but he distinctly heard a sob escape her, and his curiosity turned to compassion. Perhaps his mood, which was far from worldliness, prompted him to indulge the simple impulse of humanity; the gloom, no doubt, aided an unusual boldness. Be that as it may, Humphrey stepped forward with the purpose of asking if he could be of help. But, even as his lips parted, courage failed him. He would have drawnback again; but the girl, surprised at his approach, said, in a frightened voice, "What do you want?"

"Nothing. I was only going to ask if you could tell me what this place is." [The English Illustrated Magazine, October 1895]

Scanned image, 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.

Related Material


Gissing, George. "The Fate of Humphrey Snell." Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The English Illustrated Magazine. No. 145 (Oct., 1895): 1-10.

Created 22 January 2021