Charles Dickens surrounded by illustrated characters from his books


This photographed collage comes from the biography The Life of Dickens published in 1872–74 by the author’s friend and fellow writer John Forster (1812–1874) – indeed, from the presentation copy owned by Charles Dickens (1812–1870) himself.  

It is centred on a drawing of Dickens, evidently based on the portrait made when he was 27 by Daniel Maclise (1806–1870), who was introduced to him by their mutual friend Forster. The young writer is surrounded by illustrations of many of his best-known characters. 

These include, for example, below Dickens, the illustration from Nicholas Nickleby (1839) by Hablot Knight Browne (‘Phiz’, 1815–1882), of Nickleby thrashing Squeers at Dotheboys Hall; left of Dickens, Sam Weller and the seated Mr Pickwick, also by Phiz, from The Pickwick Papers (1837); and right of Dickens, a pensive Fagin in the condemned cell, drawn by George Cruikshank (1792–1878) for Oliver Twist (1838). 

Full title:
Photograph of Dickens collage, comprising Dickens surrounded by illustrated characters from his books. From the North London Exhibition, Islington, R.B. Yates, 1864. [from the author's presentation copy of The Life of Dickens, 1872-74]
estimated 1864
Photograph / Image
Unknown, John Forster [compiler]
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Dex.316. - Vol I, part II

Full catalogue details

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