"That's me. I am Mrs. Jarley." in Chapter XXVII of Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop by Thomas Worth in the first Household Edition volume published by Harper & Bros., New York (1872), 81: 4 ⅛ x 5 ¼ inches (10.6 x 13.5 cm) framed. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Context of the Illustration: Looking at Mrs. Jarley's Poster

Instead of speaking, however, she sat looking at the child for a long time in silence, and then getting up, brought out from a corner a large roll of canvas about a yard in width, which she laid upon the floor and spread open with her foot until it nearly reached from one end of the caravan to the other.

"There, child," she said, "read that."

Nell walked down it, and read aloud, in enormous black letters, the inscription, "Jarley's Wax-Work."

"Read it again," said the lady, complacently.

"Jarley’s Wax-Work," repeated Nell.

"That’s me," said the lady. "I am Mrs Jarley."

Giving the child an encouraging look, intended to reassure her and let her know, that,  although she stood in the presence of the original Jarley, she must not allow herself to be utterly overwhelmed and borne down, the lady of the caravan unfolded another scroll,  whereon was the inscription, "One hundred figures the full size of life," and then another scroll, on which was written, "The only stupendous collection of real wax-work in the world," and then several smaller scrolls with such inscriptions as "Now exhibiting within" — "The genuine and only Jarley" — "Jarley’s unrivalled collection" — "Jarley is the delight of the Nobility and Gentry" — "The Royal Family are the patrons of Jarley." [Chapter XXVII, 87]

Related Material about The Old Curiosity Shop

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. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Thomas Worth. The Household Edition. 16 vols. New York: Harper & Bros., 1872. I.

Created 25 August 2020

Last modified 26 November 2020