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Dombey and Son title.jpg

Dombey and Son, published in monthly parts between 1846-1848, is Dickens's seventh novel and once more features illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne ('Phiz'). The novel sees Browne using his 'Dark Plate' technique for the first time in the illustration 'On the Dark Road'. The technique, which Browne would develop further, and to a powerful extent in Bleak House and Little Dorrit, saw Browne using a 'ruling machine' to create very narrow lines on the plate which would then generate illustrations with a distinct dark and atmospheric tone. Dickens, himself, was concerned about the illustrations to Dombey, writing to his friend John Forster 'the points for illustration, and the enormous care required , make me excessively anxious.' Indeed, when the illustration 'Paul and Mrs Pipchin' went to press before Dickens saw it, he wrote once again to Forster: 'I am really distressed by the illustration of Mrs. Pipchin and Paul. It is so frightfully and wildly wide of the mark' and that he would 'cheerfully have given a hundred pounds to have kept this illustration out of the book.' The illustrations below are taken from the 'Fireside Edition' of Dickens's works (1903-1907) and reproduce Browne's original illustrations.

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