1 September 2020 Chapter IV of Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop by Thomas Worth in the first Household Edition volume, published by Harper & Bros., New York (1872), 22: 3 ½ x 5 ¼ inches (9.2 x 13.5 cm) framed.

Context of the Illustration: Mrs. Jiniwin and her son-in-law clash

Right: Harry Furniss's study of the obnoxious antagonist: Quilp (1910).

"Her father was a blessed creetur, Quilp, and worthy twenty thousand of some people," said Mrs. Jiniwin; "twenty hundred million thousand."

"I should like to have known him," remarked the dwarf. ‘I dare say he was a blessed creature then; but I’m sure he is now. It was a happy release. I believe he had suffered a long time?"

The old lady gave a gasp, but nothing came of it; Quilp resumed, with the same malice in his eye and the same sarcastic politeness on his tongue.

"You look ill, Mrs. Jiniwin; I know you have been exciting yourself too much — talking perhaps, for it is your weakness. Go to bed. Do go to bed."

"I shall go when I please, Quilp, and not before."

"But please to do now. Do please to go now," said the dwarf.

The old woman looked angrily at him, but retreated as he advanced, and falling back before him, suffered him to shut the door upon her and bolt her out among the guests, who were by this time crowding downstairs. Being left alone with his wife, who sat trembling in a corner with her eyes fixed upon the ground, the little man planted himself before her, and folding his arms looked steadily at her for a long time without speaking. [Chapter IV, 21; illustration as tailpiece, 22]


Right: W. H. C. Groome's introduction of the obnoxious antagonist: "Now, my boys, fight away." (1900).

Mrs. Jiniwin's friends, having taken tea at Quilp's Tower Hill residence, are racing down the stairs to make a hasty exit as Mrs. Quilp's mother pushes back against the door, preventing her son-in-law from getting to the landing. The caption beneath the picture, however, points to a moment in the text after the guests, indignant at Quilp's interruption, have hurriedly departed, and in fact describes how Quilp is attempting to lock her out so that he can berate his wife without her mother's interference. A brilliantly comedic touch is making all of Mrs. Jiniwin's tea-drinkers look like carbon-copies of their hostess, particularly as the the wizened, masculine face and the over-sized bonnet.

Stevens notes that Quilp does not appear until towards the end of the second month's worth of weekly instalments for 1840: "When he first appears in issue 8 [Chapters 11 and 12], he is pictured twice" (118), as if to underscore the important role he will henceforth play in the plot. That initial appearance is Quilp Surprising his Wife’s Visitors; or, Quilp Interrupts at Tea, which is just Phiz's second contribution to the project.

Other Introductory Illustrations of Daniel Quilp (1841-1910)

Phiz's original version of this scene for Master Humphrey's Clock: Quilp Surprising his Wife’s Visitors; or, Quilp Interrupts at Tea (Part 3: 23 May 1840).

Left and centre: Clayton J. Clarke's amusing caricatures of the demonic villain in the Player's Cigarette card series, Quilp (Card No. 27, 1910) and Quilp in his series of Dickens characters, dating from 1888. Right: Sol Eytinge, Jr.s's character study of the novel's self-satisfied, diminutive villain, his much-put-upon wife, and her feisty mother: Quilp, Mrs. Quilp, and Mrs. Jiniwin (1867).

Relevant Illustrations from various editions

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.]


Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.

Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop in Master Humphrey's Clock. Illustrated by Phiz, George Cattermole, Samuel Williams, and Daniel Maclise. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841; rpt., Bradbury and Evans, 1849.

_____. The Old Curiosity Shop. Frontispieces by Felix Octavius Carr Darley and Sir John Gilbert. The Household Edition. 55 vols. New York: Sheldon & Co., 1863. 4 vols.

_____. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. XII.

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

_____. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Charles Green. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876.

_____. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by William H. C. Groome. The Collins' Clear-Type Edition. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1900.

_____. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910. V.

Hammerton, J. A. The Dickens Picture-Book. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. London: Educational Book, 1910. XVII.

Kitton, Frederic George. "Phiz" (Hablot Knight Browne), a Memoir, Including a Selection From His Correspondence and Notes on His Principal Works. London, George Redway, 1882.

Lester, Valerie Browne. Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens. London: Chatto and Windus, 2004.

Matz, B. W., and Kate Perugini. Character Sketches from Dickens. Illustrated by Harold Copping. London: Raphael Tuck, 1924.

Steig, Michael. Dickens and Phiz. Bloomington & London: Indiana U. P., 1978.

Stevens, Joan. "'Woodcuts Dropped into the Text': The Illustrations in The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge." Studies in Bibliography. Vol. 20 (1967), 113-134.

Last modified 1 September 2020