Great Expectations, first published in black-and-white in the Robson and Kerslake edition (1885), Chapter XIII. 9.9 cm high by 7.8 cm wide (3.75 x 3 inches), vignetted, facing p. 150. [Click on the images to enlarge them.](page 168) — sixth hand-coloured lithograph (above, left) but the seventh lithograph from etching for Charles Dickens's
Passage Illustrated: Uncle Pumblechook effusively congratules Pip
When I had ordered everything I wanted, I directed my steps towards Pumblechook’s, and, as I approached that gentleman’s place of business, I saw him standing at his door.
He was waiting for me with great impatience. He had been out early with the chaise-cart, and had called at the forge and heard the news. He had prepared a collation for me in the Barnwell parlour, and he too ordered his shopman to “come out of the gangway” as my sacred person passed.
“My dear friend,” said Mr. Pumblechook, taking me by both hands, when he and I and the collation were alone, “I give you joy of your good fortune. Well deserved, well deserved!”
This was coming to the point, and I thought it a sensible way of expressing himself.
“To think,” said Mr. Pumblechook, after snorting admiration at me for some moments, “that I should have been the humble instrument of leading up to this, is a proud reward.”
I begged Mr. Pumblechook to remember that nothing was to be ever said or hinted, on that point.
“My dear young friend,” said Mr. Pumblechook; “if you will allow me to call you so —”
I murmured “Certainly,” and Mr. Pumblechook took me by both hands again, and communicated a movement to his waistcoat, which had an emotional appearance, though it was rather low down, “My dear young friend, rely upon my doing my little all in your absence, by keeping the fact before the mind of Joseph. — Joseph!” said Mr. Pumblechook, in the way of a compassionate adjuration. “Joseph!! Joseph!!!” Thereupon he shook his head and tapped it, expressing his sense of deficiency in Joseph.
“But my dear young friend,” said Mr. Pumblechook, “you must be hungry, you must be exhausted. Be seated. Here is a chicken had round from the Boar, here is a tongue had round from the Boar, here’s one or two little things had round from the Boar, that I hope you may not despise. But do I,” said Mr. Pumblechook, getting up again the moment after he had sat down, “see afore me, him as I ever sported with in his times of happy infancy? And may I — may I —?”
This May I, meant might he shake hands? I consented, and he was fervent, and then sat down again. [Chapter XIX, p. 168]
Commentary: The Fat, Complacent Bourgeois Seedsman
Pailthorpe sees his subject and the butt of his visual satire as the favourite target of French visual satirist Honoré Daumier (1808-79)— the overweight, puffed up, egotistical, self-congratulatory, complacent bourgeois merchant "Uncle" Pumblechook. He will henceforth take credit for Pip's "Great Expectations" because it was ho who arranged the initial playdate between Pip and Estella at Satis House. Pailthorpe's caricatural style is particularly well suited to his pillorying of the local leading member of the commercial class, "a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man" well suited to his pompous-sounding name. Pailthorpe emphasizes both his obesity and his clumsiness as in making his theatrical gesture he knocks a knife off the table and startles Pip.
Mr. Pumblechook in the 1861 Edition and Kyd's Characters from Dickens
Left: John McLenan's periodical illustration of the same scene in Harper's Weekly: "And may I — May I —?" (16 February 1861). Right: Kyd's satirical watercolour of the drygoods merchant: Mr. Pumblechook (c. 1900).
- Dickens's Great Expectations in Film and Television, 1917-2000
- Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
- Bibliography of works relevant to illustrations of Great Expectations
Other Artists’ Illustrations for Dickens's Great Expectations
- Edward Ardizzone (2 plates selected)
- H. M. Brock (8 lithographs)
- J. Clayton Clarke ("Kyd") (2 lithographs from watercolours)
- Felix O. C. Darley (4 photogravure plates)
- Sol Eytinge, Jr. (8 wood engravings)
- Marcus Stone (8 wood engravings)
- John McLenan (40 wood engravings)
- F. A. Fraser in the Household Edition (29 wood engravings)
- Harry Furniss (28 plates)
- Charles Green (10 lithographs)
Scanned images and text by Philip V. Allingham and George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Allingham, Philip V. "The Illustrations for Great Expectations in Harper's Weekly (1860-61) and in the Illustrated Library Edition (1862) — 'Reading by the Light of Illustration'." Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. 40 (2009): 113-169.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Illustrated by John McLenan. [The First American Edition]. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, Vols. IV: 740 through V: 495 (24 November 1860-3 August 1861).
______. ("Boz."). Great Expectations. With thirty-four illustrations from original designs by John McLenan. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson (by agreement with Harper & Bros., New York), 1861.
______. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Marcus Stone. The Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1862. Rpt. in The Nonesuch Dickens, Great Expectations and Hard Times. London: Nonesuch, 1937; Overlook and Worth Presses, 2005.
_____. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Junior. Diamond Edition. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. XIII.
______. Great Expectations. Volume 6 of the Household Edition. Illustrated by F. A. Fraser. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876.
______. Great Expectations. The Gadshill Edition. Illustrated by Charles Green. London: Chapman and Hall, 1898.
______. Great Expectations. The Grande Luxe Edition, ed. Richard Garnett. Illustrated by Clayton J. Clarke ('Kyd'). London: Merrill and Baker, 1900.
______. Great Expectations. "With 28 Original Plates by Harry Furniss." Volume 14 of the Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book Co., 1910.
_____. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Frederic W. Pailthorpe with 17 hand-tinted water-colour lithographs. The Franklin Library. Franklin Center, Pennsylvania: 1979. Based on the Robson and Kerslake (London) edition, 1885.
Harmon, William, and C. Hugh Holman. "Picaresque Novel." A Handbook to Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. Pp. 389-390.
Paroissien, David. The Companion to "Great Expectations." Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2000.
Created 26 February 2007 Last modified 23 October 2021