From the Christmas Stories
Thirty Illustrations of Great Expectations (from the Household Edition)
Many of these small-scale plates contain just two or three figures, having the effect of a television mid-range shot; the plate on page 48 (114 in the Collier edition) contains four figures cleverly balanced and juxtaposed, Joe and Pip right, Miss Havisham and the shadowy Estella immediately behind her, left, to suggest that Estella is Miss Havisham's apprentice in the ghastly "trade" of breaking men's hearts. A pattern in these 28 plates is that, in illustrations containing three figures, one is often the observer, as in "Orlick . . . . Was Very Soon Among the Coal-dust, and in No Hurry To Come Out of It" (p. 53; p. 129 in the Collier edition), in which a small Pip observes the battling giants from the right, or in "'Now This,' Said Mr. Trabb . . . . 'Is a Very Sweet Article" in which Trabb's boy is the observer. Such "group" plates as that on page 77 (Collier edn., p. 187) and that on page 116 (Collier edn., p. 273) tend to be rather cluttered, despite the artist's best attempts at using block groups, costume, gender, and gesture to provide a focus and an organisational principle.
One of the best group plates, the significant scene in which Estella insists Pip take her purse on page 124 (Collier ed., p. 294), involves the foregrounding of the two principals while other figures go about their affairs (we note that one of the porters in the right foreground appears to be observing and overhearing the conversation, exactly as the readers are). The artist has generally avoided single-figure compositions, so that Pip's return home, in the garb of a London "gentleman" on page 129 (Collier edn., p. 309) admirably conveys a sense of the protagonist's sense of dislocation and alienation, a dark pillar against the white plaster walls of the village cottages in the background. The running head "How My Sister's Death Affected Me" underscores the reflective the mood created by the plate.
Running heads for the British Household Edition
The running heads for the pages on which plates are situated in the British Household edition (not found in the Collier edition of 1900) are as follows:
- Great Expectations. Page 16.
- Touching Joe's Education. Page 21.
- A Wilderness. Page 29.
- Great Expectations. Page 44.
- Great Expectations. Page 48.
- Old Orlick and Mrs. Joe. Page 53.
- Great Expectations. Page 60.
- Great Expectations. Page 72.
- Mr. Jaggers's Clients. Page 77.
- Great Expectations. Page 92.
- An Invitation to Dinner. Page 97.
- Great Expectations. Page 104.
- Great Expectations. Page 116.
- Great Expectations. Page 124.
- How My Sister's Death Affected Me. Page 129.
- I Have a Word or Two with My Guardian. Page 133.
- Great Expectations. Page 144.
- He Explains My Great Mistake. Page 149.
- Great Expectations. Page 152.
- Great Expectations. Page 164.
- Great Expectations. Page 168.
- Great Expectations. Page 180.
- Great Expectations. Page 188.
- Great Expectations. Page 200.
- Great Expectations. Page 216.
- Great Expectations. Page 224.
- A Comparison of Fraser's Illustrations in the original 1870s Household Edition plates and those in the Collier New York edition of 1900
- J. Clayton Clarke ("Kyd")
- Felix O. C. Darley (2 plates)
- Harry Furniss
- Frederic W. Pailthorpe (12 plates)
- Marcus Stone (10 plates)
For Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1890)
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by George Du Maurier and F. A. Fraser. London: Chatto and Windus, 1890.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Volume 6 of the Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1871-1880 [this volume 1876].
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900. The plates in Collier edition were taken directly from the Household Edition, but were somewhat trimmed left and right to accommodate the slightly reduced width of the pages.
Created 25 July 2016 Last modified 27 September 2021