The original Household edition (published by Chapman Hall, London, in the 1870s) tends to let the plate dominate the page by placing less text above and below the plate than would make up the height of the plate; the first chapter's illustration of Pip and convict has no text above it, and an elaborate illuminated "M" begins the text below. The Household edition's pages are double-columned, and have a double-ruled margin running around the edge of each, with informative running heads such as "Touching Joe's Education" on page 21 and "A Wilderness" on page 29.

In terms of the letterpress, each horizontal (9.8 cm wide x 7.1 cm high) plate was placed in the centre of a page in the Collier New York edition of 1900. The American printers consistently positioned 4.5 cm of text below and 4.5 cm of text (including the running heads "Works of Charles Dickens" verso and "Great Expectations" recto) above each illustration, so that, even allowing for margins, each plate dominates its page, taking up 7 of the approximately 20-cm high page. There are minor variations in the height of the plates, that on page 8 being 7.1 cm high, but that on page 464 being 7.4 cm high, and that on page 246 just 7.2 cm high. The original Household edition (published by Chapman Hall, London, in the 1870s) tends to let the plate dominate the page by placing less text above and below the plate than would make up the height of the plate; the first chapter's illustration of Pip and convict has no text above it, and an elaborate illuminated "M" begins the text below. The Household edition's pages are double-columned, and have a double-ruled margin running around the edge of each, with informative running heads such as "Touching Joe's Education" on page 21 and "A Wilderness" on page 29.

Note: Only twenty-five of Fraser's series of twenty-eight plates were reproduced in the Collier, New York, edition of 1900: those plates not reproduced occur on pages 133 ("It is of no use," said Biddy.), 180 (I had had to feel my way back among the shipping), and 224 (We sat down on a bench that was near.) of the British Household edition.


Victorian Web Overview Victorian Book Illustration Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Last modified 20 September 2005