Title-page illustration

The Ragged School/In West Street (late Chick Lane) Smithfield by George Cruikshank, 1792-1878. 9 cm by 17.4 cm wide black-and-white print (source unidentified). 1844. This illustration appears in Sack, p. 317, which does not identify the source of the image but which states, "—/Drawn by George Cruikshank about 1843-4." Scanned image and text 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.]

Cruikshank represents a ragged school at the Saffron Hill slum in London, which Charles Dickens visited on behalf of philanthropist Angela Burdett Coutts in 1843. This visit undoubtedly shaped his conception of Ignorance and Want — and the importance of elementary education as an antidote to poverty — in A Christmas Carol).


Sack, O. "Dickens and Field Lane Ragged Schools" The Dickensian (December 1908): 316-318

Last modified 31 August 2009