And thenceforth, every day, and all day long, he waited at her grave for her by George Cattermole. 4 x 4 ½ inches (9.5 cm by 11.5 cm). Wood-engraving. Chapter 72, The Old Curiosity Shop. 30 January 1841 in serial publication (seventy-fourth plate in the series). This plate functions as an obvious companion-piece to the one of Little Nell resting among the tombs. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Context of the Illustration: Grandfather Trent waiting in the Church

At length, they found, one day, that he had risen early, and, with his knapsack on his back, his staff in hand, her own straw hat, and little basket full of such things as she had been used to carry, was gone. As they were making ready to pursue him far and wide, a frightened schoolboy came who had seen him, but a moment before, sitting in the church — upon her grave, he said. They hastened there, and going softly to the door, espied him in the attitude of one who waited patiently. They did not disturb him then, but kept a watch upon him all that day. When it grew quite dark, he rose and returned home, and went to bed, murmuring to himself, "She will come to-morrow!"

Upon the morrow he was there again from sunrise until night; and still at night he laid him down to rest, and murmured, "She will come to-morrow!"

And thenceforth, every day, and all day long, he waited at her grave, for her. How many pictures of new journeys over pleasant country, of resting-places under the free broad sky, of rambles in the fields and woods, and paths not often trodden — how many tones of that one well-remembered voice, how many glimpses of the form, the fluttering dress, the hair that waved so gaily in the wind — how many visions of what had been, and what he hoped was yet to be — rose up before him, in the old, dull, silent church! He never told them what he thought, or where he went. He would sit with them at night, pondering with a secret satisfaction, they could see, upon the flight that he and she would take before night came again; and still they would hear him whisper in his prayers, "Oh! Let her come to-morrow!" [Chapter the Seventy-second, 215-16]

The Equivalent Illustrations from This and Later Editions (1872, 1876, and 1910)

Left: Harry Furniss's concluding illustration, an expression of remorse and grief: The Death of Little Nell (1910). Right: Thomas Worth's emotional scene of parting between the grandfather and the dying Nell: She turned to the old man with a lovely smile upon her face (American Household Edition, Chapter LXXII).

Left: Phiz's revised version of the death of Little Nell in the Volume 2 Frontispiece adds her grieving grandfather (1840). Right: Charles Green instead shows the impact of Nell's death on Kit and Grandfather Trent in "Master!" he cried, stooping on one knee and catching at his hand. "Dear Master! Speak to me!" (British Household Edition, Chapter LXXI).

Related Material Including Other Illustrated Editions of The Old Curiosity Shop

Scanned image and editing by George P. Landow; 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.]


Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop in Master Humphrey's Clock. Illustrated by Phiz, George Cattermole, Samuel Williams, and Daniel Maclise. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841; rpt., Bradbury and Evans, 1849.

_______. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Thomas Worth. Nicholas Nickleby. Illustrated by C. S. Reinhart. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1872. I.

_______. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Charles Green. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876. XII.

_______. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. London: Educational Book, 1910. V.

Created 4 January 2006

Last modified 19 November 2020