Harry Furniss's eighteen-volume edition of The Charles Dickens Library (London: Educational Book Company, 1910) contains some 500 special plates (part of the total of 1200 illustrations) and two volumes of commentary. Volume XVII, by J. A. Hammerton, entitled The Dickens Picture Book: A Record of the Dickens Illustrators, contains the twenty-four steel engravings by George Cruikshank that appeared in the monthly numbers published by Richard Bentley from February 1837 through April 1839 (but not the so-called Fireside Plate — Oliver and His Family, or, for that matter, the Chapman and Hall 1846 wrapper), thereby inviting the reader to compare Cruikshank's caricatural illustrations of seventy-three years earlier to the "modern" work of Furniss for The Adventures of Oliver Twist. The third volume of the Charles Dickens Library Edition is entitled Oliver Twist — A Child's History of England, as it contains Dickens's 1837-39 serialised novel Oliver Twist, as well as the later periodically published non-fiction pieces in A Child's History of England (1843-53), as these appeared in Household Words (completed in September, 1853).

However, Furniss has emphasized the novel over the historical essays in that he has provided only an ornamental title-page and a frontispiece depicting Britannia entitled The Pageant of English History for the non-fiction selection. The remaining thirty-four full-page illustrations (mostly horizontally-mounted, vignetted lithographs from pen-and-ink drawings) for the third volume in "The Charles Dickens Library Edition" focus on the story's principal characters, notably the eponymous hero himself (who appears in fifteen of the plates, but is entirely absent from the last fourteen), Fagin, Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger, and Nancy, whom Hammerton in the "Who's Who" of forty-two characters describes as "mistress of Sikes, and a thief in the service of Fagin" (viii), and thereby avoids the issue of her prostitution. The proportion of illustrations for the novel thus exceeds slightly that of Mahoney's illustrations for the British Household Edition of Oliver Twist, issued in 1871 with twenty-eight large-scale wood engravings. It is to Cruikshank's original steel engravings, however, that Furniss is chiefly responding, often matching the caricaturist scene for scene in the "modern" (impressionistic) style of the fin de siècle, but minimising the figure of the Jew as social pariah, perhaps owing to earlier accusations of anti-semitism in Dickens's portrait of Fagin.

Title and text illustrated Facing Page
1. Oliver and his Mother's Portrait. The Adventures of Oliver Twist Frontispiece (anticipating Chapter Fifty-Three: "And Last").
2. Characters in the Story Most of the forty-three named characters of the novel Title-page vignettes.
3. Starvation in the Workhouse. Chapter Three, "Relates How Oliver Twist was Very Near Getting a Place, Which Would Not Have Been a Sinecure."
4. Oliver Refuses to be Bound to the Sweep. Chapter Four, "Oliver, Being Offered Another Place, Makes His First Entry into Public Life," facing 16 (based on 13).
5. Oliver aroused. Chapter Five, "Oliver Mingles with New Associates. Going to a Funeral for the First Time. . . ," facing 33 (based on 43).
6. Oliver's Flight to London. Chapter Seven, "Oliver Continues Refractory," facing 49 (based on ch. 8).
7. Oliver falls in with the Artful Dodger. Chapter Eight "html Walks to London. He Encounters on the Road a Strange Sort of Young Gentleman," facing 56 (based on 54).
8. The Thieves' Kitchen. Oliver is Shown "How It Is Done." Chapter Nine, "Containing Further Particulars Concerning The Pleasant Old Gentleman and His Hopeful Pupils," facing 64 (based on 63).
9. Oliver's Eyes are opened. Chapter Eleven, "Treats of Mr. Fang the Police Magistrate; and Furnishes a Slight Specimen of His Mode of Administering Justice," facing 72 (based on 67).
10. Waiting for Oliver. Chapter Fourteen, "Comprising Further Particulars of Oliver's Stay at Mr. Brownlow's . . . ," facing 97 (based on 106).
11. Oliver trapped by Nancy and Sikes. Chapter Sixteen, "Relates What Became of Oliver Twist," facing 112 (based on 110).
12. The Dodger's Toilet. Chapter Seventeen, "Oliver's Destiny Continuing Unpropitious, Brings a Great Man to London to Injure His Reputation," facing 128 (based on 134).
13. Bill Sikes. Chapter Eighteen, "How Oliver Passed His Time in the Improving Society of His Reputable Friends," facing 136 (based on a description in Ch. 15, 105).
14. Oliver in the Grip of Sikes. Chapter Nineteen, "In Which a Notable Plan is Discussed and Determined On," facing 144 (based on 152).
15. The Burglary. Chapter Twenty-One, "The Expedition," facing 161 (based on 166).
16. Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney. Chapter Twenty-Three, "Which Contains the Substance of a Pleasant Conversation between Mr. Bumble and a Lady . . . ," 168 (based on 172).
17. Toby Crackit exasperates the Jew. Chapter Twenty-Five, "Wherein This History Reverts to Mr. Fagin and Company," 185 (based on 184).
18. Bumble surprises Noah and Charlotte. Chapter Twenty-Seven, "Atones for the Unploiteness of a Former Chapter. . . ," 192 (based on 202).
19. The wounded Oliver thrown into the Ditch. Chapter 28, "Looks After Oliver, and Proceeds with His Adventures," facing 208 (based on 204).
20. The Wounded Oliver smiles in his Sleep. Chapter 31, "Involves a Critical Position," 225 (based on 217).
21. Monks and Fagin watching Oliver asleep. Chapter 24, "Contains Some Introductory Particulars . . . ," facing 256 (based on 259).
22. Mrs. Bumble turns Mr. Bumble out. Chapter 37, "In Which the Reader May Perceive a Contrast Not Uncommon in Matrimonial Cases," facing 272 (based on 275).
23. The Evidence destroyed. Chapter 38, "Containing an Account of what Passed Between Mr. and Mrs. Bumble. . . ," facing 289 (based on 288).
24. Nancy in Hysterics. Chapter 39, "Introduces Some Respectable Characters with whom the Reader is Already Acquainted. . . ," facing 296 (based on p. 292).
25. Rose and Nancy. Chapter 40, "A Strange Interview, which is a Sequel to the Last Chapter," facing 304 (based on 308).
26. Fagin and Noah understand each other. Chapter 42, "An Old Acquaintance of Oliver's . . . Becomes a Public Character in the Metropolis," facing 320 (based on 325).
27. The Artful Dodger before the Magistrates. Chapter 43, "Wherein is Shown How the Artful Dodger got into Trouble," facing 336 (based on 338).
28. The Meeting under London Bridge. Chapter 46, "The Appointment Kept," facing 353 (based on 357).
29. The Death of Nancy. Chapter 47, "Fatal Consequences," facing 360 (based on the description on 364-365).
30. The Flight of Bill Sikes. Chapter 48, "The Flight of Sikes," facing 369 (based on 369).
31. The Death of Sikes. Chapter 50, "The Pursuit and Escape," facing 384 (based on 394).
32. Rose Maylie. Chapter 51, "Affording an Explanation of More Mysteries than One. . . ," facing 402.
33. Fagin in the Condemned Cell. Chapter 52, "Fagin's Last Night Alive," facing 410 (based on 409).
34. The Shade of Agnes. Chapter 53, "And Last," facing 416.


Bentley, Nicolas, Michael Slater, and Nina Burgis. The Dickens Index. New York and Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1990.

Darley, Felix Octavius Carr. Character Sketches from Dickens. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1888.

Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. London: Chapman and Hall, 1839, rpt. with revisions, 1846.

_____. Oliver Twist. Works of Charles Dickens. Household Edition. 55 vols. Illustrated by F. O. C. Darley and John Gilbert. New York: Sheldon and Co., 1865.

_____. The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Pictures from Italy, and American Notes for General Circulation. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr., and engraved by A. V. S. Anthony. The Diamond Edition. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867. Vol. XI.

_____. Oliver Twist. Works of Charles Dickens. Household Edition. 22 vols. Illustrated by James Mahoney. London: Chapman and Hall, 1871. Vol. I.

_____. Oliver Twist. Works of Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. London: Educational Book Company, 1910. Vol. III.

Schlicke, Paul, ed. The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens. Oxford and New York: Oxford U. P., 1999.

Vann, J. Don. "Oliver Twist." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: The Modern Language Association, 1985, 62-63.

Created 10 March 2015

Last modified 13 February 2020