The Old Curiosity Shop in Master Humphrey's Clock
‘Night is generally my time for walking.’ So begins Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop, which features innocent Nell Trent pitted against the corrupt Quilp. Written to revive flagging sales of his own weekly serial Master Humphrey’s Clock, The Old Curiosity Shop began in the fourth number (25 April 1840). This overly sentimental novel has always provoked reaction. Irish politician Daniel O’Connell threw the book out of the train when he realized that Nell was going to die. Illustrators ‘Phiz’, George Cattermole, Maclise, and Samuel Williams were engaged to enhance the text.
[Page 109 from Charles Dickens's ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’, in Master Humphrey’s Clock. 1st edition, Vol. I. Illustration by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz).]