On Display: Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son
Written by Charles Dickens, Illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne
823.8 D555dom v. 1 and 2 Greenfield Special Collections

Dombey and Son (also known by its full title Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation) marked the seventh novel for Charles Dickens, and was serialized between 1846 and 1848. The novel follows the proud and arrogant London merchant Paul Dombey as he strives to bequeath his inheritance to a male heir,
all while neglecting his daughter, Florence. The story also chronicles the rise of the railway age, as London is transformed into a growing industrial center, and older forms of commerce are made obsolete.

The edition of the book on display in Greenfield Library, published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1897, is based on an edition corrected by Dickens in 1867 and 1868, and features the original illustrations of the novel by Hablot Knight Browne. Browne was a longtime friend and collaborator with Dickens, and illustrated nine of his major novels, including Martin ChuzzlewitNicolas NicklebyDavid Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. Browne often worked under the pen name of ‘Phiz,’ to coincide with Dickens’s own pen name ‘Boz.’

The illustrations presented here bring to life the characters and world of Dombey and Son, filled with a detail and an expressiveness that any
illustrator today should admire. While the pages of this book have deteriorated, the illustrations have retained their life and sharpness for
us to enjoy today.

Information gathered from The Dickens Index,
edited by Nicolas Bentley, Michael Slater, and Nina Burgis.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Pages 35 and 78.
823 D555z10, Greenfield Reference.

Recommended by Mike Sgier
Recommended by Mike Sgier

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