The Shade of Agnes

Harry Furniss

Illustration for Dickens's Oliver Twist in the Educational Book Company's Library Edition (1910).

See commentary below

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Passage Illustrated

Within the altar of the old village church there stands a white marble tablet, which bears as yet but one word:, —"AGNES." There is no coffin in that tomb; and may it be many, many years, before another name is placed above it! But, if the spirits of the Dead ever come back to earth, to visit spots hallowed by the love — the love beyond the grave — of those whom they knew in life, I believe that the shade of Agnes sometimes hovers round that solemn nook. I believe it none the less because that nook is a Church, and she was weak and erring. [Thus closes the novel.] — Chapter 53, "And Last," p. 418

Although Dickens's official illustrator for Oliver Twist in the 1837-38 serial, George Cruikshank, felt that the so-called Fireside illustration adequately summed up Providence's rewarding Oliver for his courage and upright character in the face of adversity and moral degradation, Dickens found it trite and conventional [continued below].

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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