I'll bite if you hit me —

Harry Furniss

1910

14.4 x 9.4 cm framed

Dickens's Christmas Books, Charles Dickens Library Edition, facing p. 344.

Although the scale of the illustration is imperceptably larger than that of the usual illustration in volume eight of the Charles Dickens Library Edition, Furniss has created a striking effect by filling the area with bold, black lines that emphasize the vertical. Although the street urchin is akin to the boy Ignorance in John Leech's celebrated delineation of the allegorical figures in Ignorance and Want, he is better clothed and far more animated in Furniss's principal source, John Leech's Redlaw and the Boy in the 1848 Bradbury and Evans edition, whose progress Dickens oversaw from a distance. [Commentary continued below.]

[Click on image to enlarge it.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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