"On my retirement from the Miscellany, at the close of the year 1841, I resolved to bring out a magazine of my own. . . .

"On my return I was induced by my friend Mr. Pettigrew to engage George Cruikshank as the illustrator of the magazine, on terms infinitely more advantageous to the artist than those he had received from Mr. Bentley for his illustrations to Jack Sheppard​ and Guy Fawkes.

"Now commenced the Miser's Daughter [January through October, 1842], to which I have already adverted. This was succeeded by Windsor Castle,​— four of the illustrations being furnished, as already mentioned, by Tony Johannot, and the remainder by Cruikshank. The numerous woodcuts were executed by Alfred Delamotte.​— William Harrison Ainsworth, cited by Blanchard Jerrold, The Life of George Cruikshank. In Two Epochs, Book 1, Chapter 9, "Illustrations to Harrison Ainsworth's Romances."

Ainsworth approached the publication of the 1842-43 romance Windsor Castle differently: rather than distribute the book monthly parts, he ran it in instalments in his own monthly literary journal, Ainsworth's Magazine. In this magazine he was also running The Miser's Daughter, also illustrated by George Cruikshank in period idiom (January through October 1842) in ten monthly parts, each accompanied by two steel engravings. As Ainsworth was winding the story up in his own periodical, for the Christmas 1842 market he published the novel in three volumes, with three additional wood-engravings. Robert L. Patten has described this narrative-pictorial series as "some of his most atmospheric plates" (Vol. I, p. 324). Certainly Cruikshank enjoyed greater creative freedom with Ainsworth than previously as the author agreed that the artist could make alterations to the drawings without the author's prior approval.

The extensive notes, working drawings, marginal sketchers, and finished watercolors relating to these plates testify to Cruikshank's intensely personal involvement with the subject and with the opportunity of depicting settings his great predecessors Hogarth and Rowlandson had limned. [Patten, Vol. 2, p. 170]

Like Jack Sheppard, the novel deals with eighteenth-century London, but its haunts are markedly more fashionable — Ranelagh and Vauxhall Gardens rather than Newgate Prison; but, like The Tower of London, The Miser's Daughter also attempts to present an historical account of the metropolis in an earlier period. In The Artist and the Author in 1870, shortly after the death of Charles Dickens Cruikshank asserted that he and not Ainsworth had devised the plot of the 1842 novel; it seems more likely that in composing the illustrations he devised a number of scenes which Ainsworth then wrote or revised to better coincide with the illustration. As Richard A. Vogler notes, Cruikshank apparently "sent the tracings for the etchings to assist the author in the composition of his text" (p. 155). Immediately upon the conclusion of serial run, that indefatigable adaptor of Dickens, Edward Stirling, brought the story to the stage of the Adelphi on 24 October 1842, relying heavily on the illustrations for the designs of the sets and costumes, and transforming the novel into a series of tableaux based largely on Cruikshank's plates. Like Stirling, adaptor T. P Taylor in the words of the theatrical reviews "vivified" Cruikshank's etchings for the rival production at the City of London Theatre on 21 November 1842.

The Cruikshank Steel-engravings, January through October 1842


"Ainsworth, William Harrison." http://biography.com [accessed 18 December 2017]

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Burton, Anthony. "Cruikshank as an Illustrator of Fiction." George Cruikshank: A Revaluation. Ed. Robert L. Patten. Princeton: Princeton U. P., 1974, rev., 1992. Pp. 92-128.

Carver, Stephen. Ainsworth and Friends: Essays on 19th Century Literature & The Gothic. Accessed 1 October 2017. https://ainsworthandfriends.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/william-harrison-ainsworth-the-life-and-adventures-of-the-lancashire-novelist/

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Patten, Robert L. Chapter 19, "Indestructible as Punch." George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art, vol. 1: 1792-1835. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers U. P., 1991; London: The Lutterworth Press, 1992. Pp. 307-324.

Patten, Robert L. Chapter 30, "The 'Hoc' Goes Down." George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art, vol. 2: 1835-1878. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers U. P., 1991; London: The Lutterworth Press, 1996. Pp. 153-186.

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Vann, J. Don. "The Miser's Daughter in Ainsworth's Magazine, June 1842-June 1843." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: MLA, 1985. Pp. 22-3.

Last modified 20 April 2018