Little Em'ly

"Little Em'ly," the frontispiece for the volume by Sol Eytinge, Jr. 1867. 7.3 cm high by 9.8 cm wide (3 by 3 ⅞ inches). The first full-page illustration for the Diamond Edition of Dickens's The Personal History of David Copperfield (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867), facing title-page. [Mouse over the text for links. Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Referenced: David sees the Peggottys' house on the Yarmouth shore

"Yon’s our house, Mas’r Davy!"

I looked in all directions, as far as I could stare over the wilderness, and away at the sea, and away at the river, but no house could I make out. There was a black barge, or some other kind of superannuated boat, not far off, high and dry on the ground, with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily; but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible to me. [Chapter III, "I Have a Change," 17]


Phiz's 1850 title-page vignette for the volume is his clearest exterior view of the houseboat on the Yarmouth sands.

As in the first movement of the story, the orphan, Em'ly, who is being brought up by her aunt and uncle, Clara and Daniel Peggotty, in a boathouse on the Yarmouth Denes, is depicted playing by the surf, her home — an unusual inverted boathouse — appearing in sharp aerial perspective in the background:

Almost as soon as it shone upon the oyster-shell frame of my mirror I was out of bed, and out with little Em'ly, picking up stones upon the beach. [Ch. 3, "I Have a Change"]

Related Resources

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.]


Dickens, Charles. The Personal History of David Copperfield, illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"). The Centenary Edition. London & New York: Chapman & Hall, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911 [rpt. from 1850]. 2 vols.

_______. The Personal History of David Copperfield. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. Vol. V.

Created 8 January 2011

Last modified 11 July 2022