Pip and The Convict

Sol Eytinge

Wood engraving, approximately 10 cm high by 7.5 cm wide (framed)

First illustration for Dickens's Great Expectations in the single volume A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations in the Ticknor & Fields (Boston, 1867) Diamond Edition.

In this first full-page dual character study for the second novel in the compact American publication, a bearded Magwitch confronts the small boy sitting on the enormous tombstone in the churchyard, exactly as in the memorable opening chapter of the novel. This somewhat static illustration conveys a good sense of the initiating incident in terms of setting, particularly in terms of the weed-infested graveyard, but not in terms of the terror that the protagonist experienced as Magwitch seemed to rise from the graves at the side of the church porch moments before.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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