"What do you want with Captain Cuttle, I should wish to know?" said Mrs. MacStinger. "Should you? Then I’m sorry that you won’t be satisfied," returned Miss Nipper. — Fred Barnard's twenty-fourth illustration for Dickens's Dombey and Son, Household Edition (1877), p. 169 (scene from chap. xxiii). Wood engraving by the Dalziels, 4 ¼ x 5 ⅜ inches (10.7 cm high by 13.8 cm wide), framed. Running head: "Captain Cuttle's Lodgings," 169. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated: Offering Some Insight into the Landlady's Motivation

The feelings of Mrs. MacStinger, as a woman and a mother, were outraged by the look of pity for Alexander which she observed on Florence’s face. Therefore, Mrs. MacStinger asserting those finest emotions of our nature, in preference to weakly gratifying her curiosity, shook and buffeted Alexander both before and during the application of the paving-stone, and took no further notice of the strangers.

"I beg your pardon, Ma’am," said Florence, when the child had found his breath again, and was using it. "Is this Captain Cuttle’s house?'

"No," said Mrs. MacStinger.

"Not Number Nine?’ asked Florence, hesitating.

"Who said it wasn’t Number Nine?’ said Mrs. MacStinger.

Susan Nipper instantly struck in, and begged to inquire what Mrs MacStinger meant by that, and if she knew whom she was talking to.

Mrs. MacStinger in retort, looked at her all over. "What do you want with Captain Cuttle, I should wish to know?" said Mrs. MacStinger.

"Should you? Then I’m sorry that you won’t be satisfied," returned Miss Nipper.

"Hush, Susan! If you please!" said Florence. ‘Perhaps you can have the goodness to tell us where Captain Cuttle lives, Ma’am as he don’t live here."

"Who says he don’t live here?" retorted the implacable MacStinger. [Chapter 23, "Florence solitary, and the Midshipman mysterious," 169]

Other Illustrators' Interpretations of Mrs. MacStinger (1847 to 1910)(

Left: Clayton J. Clarke's Player's Cigarette Card No. 43 watercolour study: Mrs. MacStinger (1910). Centre: Phiz's group study of the residents of Brig Place, Chapter 23: Solemn Reference is Made to Mr. Bunsby (May 1847). Right: Sol Eytinge, Junior's dual character study: Mrs. MacStinger and Bunsby (1867)

Related Material including Other Illustrated Editions of Dombey and Son

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. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Phiz. (Hablot K. Browne). London: Chapman and Hall, 1848.

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz). 8 coloured plates. London and Edinburgh: Caxton and Ballantyne, Hanson, 1910.

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Fred Barnard [62 composite wood-block engravings]. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1877. XV.

"Dombey and Son — Sixty-two Illustrations by Fred Barnard." Scenes and Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens, Being Eight Hundred and Sixty-six Drawings by Fred Barnard, Gordon Thomson, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), J. McL. Ralston, J. Mahoney, H. French, Charles Green, E. G. Dalziel, A. B. Frost, F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1907.

Created 27 March 2017

Last modified 27 December 2020