Barnaby and Grip — Tailpiece for Chap. XII, tenth regular plate by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), thirteenth regular plate in the series. 27 March 1841 (instalment 7). Wood engraving, 3 ¾ x 4 ½ inches (5.7 cm high by x 11.7 cm wide), vignetted. This thirteenth illustration also marks the conclusion of Volume Two of Master Humphrey's Clock (originally Part 50), in which Dickens's Barnaby Rudge originally appeared. The 1849 Bradbury and Evans two-volume edition: foot of 306. Running Head: "Master Humphrey's Clock" (306). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated

"Halloa!" cried a hoarse voice in his ear. "Halloa, halloa, halloa! Bow wow wow. What’s the matter here! Hal-loa!" The speaker — who made the locksmith start as if he had been some supernatural agent—was a large raven, who had perched upon the top of the easy-chair, unseen by him and Edward, and listened with a polite attention and a most extraordinary appearance of comprehending every word, to all they had said up to this point; turning his head from one to the other, as if his office were to judge between them, and it were of the very last importance that he should not lose a word." [Chapter the Sixth, 270]

Barnaby and Grip: A Reflective Tailpiece

Felix Octavius Carr Darley's study of Barnaby and Grip from Scenes and Characters from Dickens (1888).

On second thoughts, the bird appeared disposed to come of himself. After a  short survey of the ground, and a few sidelong looks at the ceiling and at everybody present in turn, he fluttered to the floor, and went to Barnaby — not in a hop, or walk, or run, but in a pace like that of a very particular gentleman with exceedingly tight boots on, trying to walk fast over loose pebbles. Then, stepping into his extended hand, and condescending to be held out at arm’s length, he gave vent to a succession of sounds, not unlike the drawing of some eight or ten dozen of long corks, and again asserted his brimstone birth and parentage with great distinctness. [Chapter the Sixth, 271]

Harry Furniss's study of the famous couple in the frontispiece to the Charles Dickens Library Edition, Barnaby and Grip the Raven (1910).

The scene of Barnaby playing with Grip is charming, and has given the illustrator the opportunity to show his virtuosity in depicting animals. Since the youth and the bird have a close but playful relationship, the tailpiece for Chapter 12 might allude to any number of scenes in the novel, but Phiz may well have intended it to realise the abovepassage, which underscores the mystery surrounding the old ruffian's assaulting Edward Chester: "What were his motives, and who is he? Why is Mary Rudge so fearful of him, but protecting him,going so far as to prevent Gabriel Varden from apprehending him when he came to the door?" Readers ponder all of these questions, suspecting that the Barnaby Rudge of Solomon Daisy's tale at the Maypole was not the victim but the murderer all those years before, and that Barnaby Rudge, Senior, is the old ruffian at the inn who later assaulted Edward Chester, and that he was the mysterious figure knocking at Mary Rudge's door. If Phiz and Dickens had intended the illustration to compel the thoughtful reader to reflect on the meaning of the earlier scene, in fact, the precise moment illustrated would appear to be the one cited above, in Chapter the Sixth, even though the illustration appears thirty-six pages later.

Related Material including Other Illustrated Editions of Barnaby Rudge

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. Barnaby Rudge. Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne ('Phiz') and George Cattermole. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841; rpt., Bradbury & Evans, 1849.

_______. Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty. Frontispieces by F. O. C. Darley. Household Edition. 55 vols. New York: Sheldon and Co., 1865. 3 vols.

________. Barnaby Rudge and Hard Times. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 16 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. IX.

________. Barnaby Rudge. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book Company, 1910. VI.

Hammerton, J. A. "Ch. XIV. Barnaby Rudge." The Dickens Picture-Book. The Charles Dickens Library Edition, illustrated by Harry Furniss. London: Educational Book Co., 1910. 213-55.

Vann, J. Don. "Charles Dickens. Barnaby Rudge in Master Humphrey's Clock, 13 February-27 November 1841." New York: MLA, 1985. 65-66.

Created 5 July 2002

Last modified 2 December 2020