Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
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Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original H.K. Browne ("Phiz") prints from various Charles Dickens publications.

In his eleventh novel, illustrated by Phiz and published by Chapman & Hall, Dickens' childhood memories of his father's imprisonment in the Marshalsea for debt are brought forth again as the centerpiece of the story of William Dorrit, whose family is also imprisoned there.

Dickens sets the novel in the 1820s, around the time his father was an inmate in the Marshalsea, but virtually ignores that time period during the novel in favor of the present time (mid 1850s) introducing many anachronisms. The theme of imprisonment, both physical and psychological, carries throughout the novel.

Dickens notes in the preface for the completed novel that he had never had so many readers, indeed, sales of the monthly installments topped all of Dickens' earlier works. This despite some critics declaring Little Dorrit Dickens' worst offering, citing an overly complex plot and lack of humor. Modern critics have been kinder, calling the novel one of the best of Dickens' later novels.

This book, along with its predecessor, Hard Times, marked a turn in Dickens' writing toward a darker and gloomier outlook on life.

[source: victorianweb.com]

These are original prints about 150 years old, not reproductions.
Page size is approximately 5 3/8 x 8 1/4 inches.
There may be some damp staining or foxing on the prints due to their age,
so please have a look at the provided enlargements
by clicking on the thumbnails below.

We have many more prints by Phiz...
please see the Satire/Humor page by clicking here.

H.K. Browne, also known as Phiz

 

Background:

Dickens worked in close collaboration with his illustrators, supplying them with an overall summary of the work at the outset for the cover illustration which was printed on heavy colored stock, usually green, which served as a wrapper for each of the monthly parts. Dickens briefed the illustrator on plans for each month's installment so that work on the two illustrations could begin before he wrote them.

This close working relationship with his illustrators is important to readers of Dickens today. The illustrations give us a glimpse of the characters as Dickens described them to the illustrator and approved when the drawing was finished. Film makers still use the illustrations as a basis for characterization, costume, and set design in the dramatization of Dickens' works.

 

When Robert Seymour committed suicide after the second installment of Pickwick the author and his publishers needed a new illustrator. Artists such as John Leech, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Robert W. Buss were considered but the man selected was Hablot Knight Browne who had done some work for Chapman and Hall earlier and had worked with Dickens on a recent pamphlet.

Browne and Dickens developed an excellent working relationship and Browne took the nickname Phiz to complement Dickens' Boz. Browne would go on to illustrate Dickens' work for 23 years, ten of Dicken's novels were illustrated by Phiz. Browne's comic/satiric style of illustration did not fit well with Dickens' later, more serious, novels and after the somewhat disappointing illustrations for A Tale of Two Cities, he never worked for Dickens again.

Phiz and Emblematic Detail
In the background of many of the Phiz illustrations of Dickens' novels the illustrator introduces details that help to interpret what is happening in the story. Some of these emblematic details are rather obvious and some are more subtle. Michael Steig, in his book Dickens and Phiz, argues effectively that, although Dickens gave detailed instructions as to the content of the illustrations, many of the emblematic details in the illustrations were added by Phiz on his own.

An excellent source of information about Dickens illustrators (including the above) can be found here.

 


Frontispiece to Little Dorrit

Frontispiece to Little Dorrit


The Birds in the Cage

The Birds in the Cage

$40


Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope


Mr. Flintwinch mediates as a friend of the Family

Mr. Flintwinch mediates as a friend of the Family

$25


The Room with the Portrait

The Room with the Portrait

$30


Little Mother

Little Mother



Little Dorrit's Party

Little Dorrit's Party



Mr. and Mrs. Flintwinch

Mr. and Mrs. Flintwinch



The Ferry

The Ferry

$35


Miss Dorrit and Little Dorrit

Miss Dorrit and Little Dorrit


The Story of the Princess

The Story of the Princess


Five and Twenty

Five and Twenty

$25


Floating away

Floating away


The Pensioner - Entertainment

The Pensioner — Entertainment



Society expresses its views on a question of Marriage

Society expresses its views on a question of Marriage

$35


The family dignity is affronted

The family dignity is affronted

$20
(some foxing)


Mr. Sparkles under a reverse of circumstances

Mr. Sparkler under a reverse of circumstances


Rigour of Mr. F's Aunt

Rigour of Mr. F's Aunt



Mr. Flintwinch receives the embrace of friendship

Mr. Flintwinch receives the embrace of friendship

$25


The Patriotic Conference

The Patriotic Conference

$25


Mr. Baptist is supposed to have seen something

Mr. Baptist is supposed
to have seen something

$25


Missing and Dreaming

Missing and Dreaming



Reception of an Old Friend

Reception of an old friend



Flora's tour of inspection

Flora's tour of inspection

$25


Mr. Merdle a borrower

Mr. Merdle a borrower

$25


At Mr. Chivery's tea-table

At Mr. Chivery's tea-table

$25


In the old room

In the old room



Damocles

Damocles

$35


The Third Volume of the Registers

The Third Volume of the Registers

 

Many more Phiz/Dickens prints on the Humor and Satire page