He came back, calling for a light for the cigar in his mouth, which he had forgotten by F. A. Fraser (1844-1896). 10.9 cm high by 13.7 cm wide (4 ¼ by 5 ⅜ inches), framed (half-page, horizontally mounted), on page 168. Twenty-third illustration; for Chapter Forty-three in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, which appeared as Volume 11 in the Household Edition in 1876. Running head: "I Encounter Drummle" (165). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated: Drummle has "come down" to secure Estella

Left: Harry Furniss's lithograph of Pip's verbal sparring with Drummle at the inn: Drummle and Pip at The Blue Boar (1910).

“Look here, you sir. You quite understand that the young lady don’t ride to-day, and that I dine at the young lady’s?”

“Quite so, sir!”

When the waiter had felt my fast-cooling teapot with the palm of his hand, and had looked imploringly at me, and had gone out, Drummle, careful not to move the shoulder next me, took a cigar from his pocket and bit the end off, but showed no sign of stirring. Choking and boiling as I was, I felt that we could not go a word further, without introducing Estella’s name, which I could not endure to hear him utter; and therefore I looked stonily at the opposite wall, as if there were no one present, and forced myself to silence. How long we might have remained in this ridiculous position it is impossible to say, but for the incursion of three thriving farmers — laid on by the waiter, I think — who came into the coffee-room unbuttoning their great-coats and rubbing their hands, and before whom, as they charged at the fire, we were obliged to give way.

I saw him through the window, seizing his horse’s mane, and mounting in his blundering brutal manner, and sidling and backing away. I thought he was gone, when he came back, calling for a light for the cigar in his mouth, which he had forgotten. A man in a dust-coloured dress appeared with what was wanted, — I could not have said from where: whether from the inn yard, or the street, or where not, — and as Drummle leaned down from the saddle and lighted his cigar and laughed, with a jerk of his head towards the coffee-room windows, the slouching shoulders and ragged hair of this man whose back was towards me reminded me of Orlick. [Chapter XLIII, 166]

Commentary: The Haughty Aristocrat on a Thoroughbred

Fraser introduces Pip's nemesis and romantic rival, the ill-natured but aristocratic Bentley Drummlew, on horseback, as befits his social station. He has returned so that the groom at The Blue Boar Inn can light his cigar, which may well serve as a phallic symbol in this illustration. Estella, perhaps showing compassion for the devoted Pip, has elected to accede to Drummle's marriage proposal. And Bentley has come down from Shropshire to the beastly marshes to cement the alliance by meeting Estella's guardian, Miss Havisham. The exchange between Pip and Drummle in the coffee-room that precedes this final scene of the chapter has been anything but convivial, and Fraser's illustration merely confirms the reader's negative impressions of the overbearing, argumentative fellow member of "The Finches of the Grove" — as their fraternity calls itself.

The illustration serves the subsidiary function of reintroducing Orlick into the action as Dickens maneuvers to place Pip in danger as Orlick's prisoner at the sluice house on the marshes in a final, melodramatic sequence.

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. Illustrated by Frederic W. Pailthorpe. 16 unnumbered pages of plates: color illustrations. London: Robson and Kerslake, 1885.

______. 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 18 March 2004

Last modified 10 September 2021