Five-and-Twenty by Phiz (Hablot K. Browne). Illustration for Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit, July 1856 (Part 8: Book One, Chapter 27, "Five-and-Twenty"). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Image scan, caption, and commentary by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Passage Illustrated

"Gentlemen!" said Miss Wade, calmly. "When you have concluded — Mr. Clennam, perhaps you will induce your friend —"

"Not without another effort," said Mr. Meagles, stoutly. "Tattycoram, my poor dear girl, count five-and-twenty."

"Do not reject the hope, the certainty, this kind man offers you," said Clennam in a low emphatic voice. "Turn to the friends you have not forgotten. Think once more!"

"I won't! Miss Wade," said the girl, with her bosom swelling high, and speaking with her hand held to her throat, "take me away!"

"Tattycoram," said Mr. Meagles. "Once more yet! The only thing I ask of you in the world, my child! Count five-and-twenty!" — Book the First, "Poverty," Chapter 27, "Five-and-Twenty."


Arthur Clennam, at Meagles' insistence, accompanies him in what proves a fruitless quest to persuade Tattycoram, his adopted daughter, to return home. The defiant Miss Wade (left) proves more than equal to the arguments advanced by Meagles and his friend, and Tattycoram, fed up with being treated more like a servant than a member of the family, remains obdurate. Phiz conveys well the characters and motivations of the four characters in Miss Wade's parlour: Meagles is a naive but sincere petitioner; Clennam is uncomfortable in having been called upon to be Meagles' second; Miss Wade regards both respectably dressed, middle-class males with dark suspicion; and Tattycoram is distraught. Although Meagles is the focal point, Phiz has been careful about making Arthur Clennam appear (as Dickens advised Phiz on 8 November 1856) "as agreeable and well-looking as possible" (cited in Lester, 158).


Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by James Mahoney. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1873. Vol. 5.

Hammerton, J. A. The Dickens Picture-Book. London: Educational Book, 1910.

Lester, Valerie Browne. Phiz, The Man Who Drew Dickens. London: Chatto and Windus, 2004.

Steig, Michael. Dickens and Phiz. Bloomington & London: Indiana U.P., 1978.

Last modified 8 May 2016