Pip's Struggle with the Escaped Convict —

Harry Furniss

1910

13.6 x 9 cm vignetted

Dickens's Great Expectations, Vol. 14 of the Charles Dickens Library Edition, facing p. 8.

Despite the importance of the opening scene to the novel as a whole, surprisingly not all the illustrators of Great Expectations have attempted it — and none with the intense emotion and energy of Harry Furniss. Although he may not have had access to them, the American illustrations of Pip and the convict in the 1860s by John McLenan in Harper's Weekly and Sol Eytinge, Jr., in the Diamond Edition are useful reference points for Furniss's kinetic description of that fateful meeting on the marshes. [Commentary continued below.]

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Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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