My child-wife's old companion

My child-wife's old companion

Phiz (Hablot K. Browne)

September 1850

Etching on steel

Dickens's David Copperfield, chapter 53, "Another Retrospect."

Source: Centenary Edition, volume two, facing page 400.

In the second illustration in the seventeenth monthly number, which was issued in September 1850 and comprises chapters 51 through 53, Phiz again utilizes the guitar as a symbol of the musical Dora, a signifier which he employed previously in "Our Housekeeping", but here the effect is sentimental rather than satirical as the instrument's broken strings foreshadow the impending death of its owner and that of her pet and alter ego, Jip the spaniel, still alive at David's feet in this illustration.

Image scan, caption, and commentary below by Philip V. Allingham.

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