114 x 9.2 cm vignetted
Dickens's Little Dorrit, Vol. 12 of Charles Dickens Library Edition, Book the First, "Poverty," Chapter 24, "Fortune-telling," facing p. 321.
This situation in the Marshalsea is directly derived from Phiz's original serial illustration, The Story of the Princess, Part Seven (June 1856).
[Click on image to enlarge it.]
Scanned image 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.]
But it's all over now — all over for good, Maggy. And my head is much better and cooler, and I am quite comfortable. I am very glad I did not go down."
Her great staring child tenderly embraced her; and having smoothed her hair, and bathed her forehead and eyes with cold water (offices in which her awkward hands became skilful), hugged her again, exulted in her brighter looks, and stationed her in her chair by the window. Over against this chair, Maggy, with apoplectic exertions that were not at all required, dragged the box which was her seat on story-telling occasions, sat down upon it, hugged her own knees, and said, with a voracious appetite for stories, and with widely-opened eyes:
"Now, Little Mother, let's have a good 'un!"
"What shall it be about, Maggy?"
"Oh, let's have a princess," said Maggy, "and let her be a reg'lar one. Beyond all belief, you know!"
Little Dorrit considered for a moment; and with a rather sad smile upon her face, which was flushed by the sunset, began:
"Maggy, there was once upon a time a fine King, and he had everything he could wish for, and a great deal more. He had gold and silver, diamonds and rubies, riches of every kind. He had palaces, and he had —"
"Hospitals," interposed Maggy, still nursing her knees. "Let him have hospitals, because they're so comfortable. Hospitals with lots of Chicking."
"Yes, he had plenty of them, and he had plenty of everything."
"Plenty of baked potatoes, for instance?" said Maggy.
"Plenty of everything."
"Lor!" chuckled Maggy, giving her knees a hug. "Wasn't it prime!"
"This King had a daughter, who was the wisest and most beautiful Princess that ever was seen. When she was a child she understood all her lessons before her masters taught them to her; and when she was grown up, she was the wonder of the world. Now, near the Palace where this Princess lived, there was a cottage in which there was a poor little tiny woman, who lived all alone by herself." — Book the First, "Poverty," Chapter 24, "Fortune-Telling," 304.
In Furniss's redrafting, Amy is not looking despondently out of the window at the tawdry life of the College Yard, but is fully engaged in formulating the fairy story (a fictionalized and symbolic account of herself) that she is about to narrate for Maggy's entertainment in her upper-storey garret in the Marshalsea. Furniss gives the reader little sense of the tidy nature of Amy's cramped room, focussing instead upon the physical differences between the large-headed, wide-eyed, cartoon-like Maggy and the sharply defined, realistically drawn Amy.
Maggy and Little Dorrit in the original, Diamond, and Household Editions, 1856-1910
Above: Phiz's June 1856 plate showing Maggy and Arthur Clennam in the street outside the prison, Little Mother (Book 1, Chapter 9). Centre: Sol Eytinge, Junior's dual character study of Amy Dorrit and her mentally-challenged companion, Little Dorrit and Maggy (1867). Right: Phiz's original scene of Amy as Dickensian narrator, The Story of the Princess (June 1856). [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Above: James Mahoney's Household Edition illustration of Arthur Clennam's interrogation of the clarionet-player, Frederick Dorrit, in his rooms outside the Marshalsea about his niece, Amy, He was a feeble, spare, and slow in his pinches as in everything else. (Book I, Ch. 24). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
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Last modified 24 May 2016