"Oh, you must take the purse!" by F. A. Fraser (1844-1896). 10.8 cm high by 13.8 cm wide (4 ¼ by 5 ⅜ inches), framed (half-page, horizontally mounted), p. 124, Chapter Thirty-three, in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, which appeared as Volume 11 in the British Household Edition (1876). Running head: "I Take Estella to Her Desatination" (125). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated: Pip as Estella's Travelling Companion

In her furred travelling-dress, Estella seemed more delicately beautiful than she had ever seemed yet, even in my eyes. Her manner was more winning than she had cared to let it be to me before, and I thought I saw Miss Havisham’s influence in the change.

We stood in the Inn Yard while she pointed out her luggage to me, and when it was all collected I remembered — having forgotten everything but herself in the meanwhile — that I knew nothing of her destination.

“I am going to Richmond,” she told me. “Our lesson is, that there are two Richmonds, one in Surrey and one in Yorkshire, and that mine is the Surrey Richmond. The distance is ten miles. I am to have a carriage, and you are to take me. This is my purse, and you are to pay my charges out of it. O, you must take the purse! We have no choice, you and I, but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I.”

As she looked at me in giving me the purse, I hoped there was an inner meaning in her words. She said them slightingly, but not with displeasure.,/p.

“A carriage will have to be sent for, Estella. Will you rest here a little?”

“Yes, I am to rest here a little, and I am to drink some tea, and you are to take care of me the while.” [Chapter XXXIII, 122]

Commentary: Estella hints that Miss Havisham has destined them to be together

Because of the simple coincidence that Jaggers has acted for Miss Havisham and Magwitch, Pip has assumed that his "great expectations" emanate from the demented heiress rather than the convict on the marches. This scene at the inn yard is crucial in furthering Pip's delusion when Estella seems to hint that they are both Miss Havisham's creatures: "We have no choice, you and I, but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I” (Chapter XXXIII, 122). The artist shows Pip as deferential and Estella clearly in charge as waiters, porters, carriage drivers, and baggage-handlers support the workaday inn-yard setting so removed from pip's romantic dreams.

Through illustrating this significant piece of dialogue Fraser marks an important shift in Estella's development. No longer will she simply be Miss Havisham's assistant at Satis House; henceforth, she will be raised as a member of upper-class society at a finishing school in Richmond-on-Thames.

Versions of Pip and Estella travelling to Richmond from Other Editions

Left: A. A. Dixon's Lithographic reproduction of watercolour, Her calm face was like a statue's in Collins Pocket Edition (1905). Centre: H. M. Brock's treatment of the same scene: "I am going to Richmond," she told me (Imperial Edition, 1903). Right: Charles Green's treatment of the same scene: We stood in an Inn Yard, in the Gadshill Edition (1898).

Related Material

Other Artists’ Illustrations for Dickens's Great Expectations

Scanned images and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Allingham, Philip V. "The Illustrations for Great Expectations in Harper's Weekly (1860-61) and in the Illustrated Library Edition (1862) — 'Reading by the Light of Illustration'." Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. 40 (2009): 113-169.

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Illustrated by John McLenan. [The First American Edition]. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, Vols. IV: 740 through V: 495 (24 November 1860-3 August 1861).

______. ("Boz."). Great Expectations. With thirty-four illustrations from original designs by John McLenan. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson (by agreement with Harper & Bros., New York), 1861.

______. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Marcus Stone. The Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1862. Rpt. in The Nonesuch Dickens, Great Expectations and Hard Times. London: Nonesuch, 1937; Overlook and Worth Presses, 2005.

______. A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 16 vols. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.

______. Great Expectations. Volume 6 of the Household Edition. Illustrated by F. A. Fraser. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876.

______. Great Expectations. The Gadshill Edition. Illustrated by Charles Green. London: Chapman and Hall, 1898.

______. Great Expectations. The Grande Luxe Edition, ed. Richard Garnett. Illustrated by Clayton J. Clarke ('Kyd'). London: Merrill and Baker, 1900.

______. Great Expectations. "With 28 Original Plates by Harry Furniss." Volume 14 of the Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book Co., 1910.

______. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Henry Matthew Brock. London: Hodder and Stoughton, n. d. [1916].

Created 19 March 2004

Last modified 4 September 2021