Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original George Cruikshank prints from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist,
as well as other publications.
The prints below are from Dickens' "Oliver Twist" which was released in parts between 1838 and 1841. There may be some prints that are not from "Oliver Twist" but from the same time period.
Dickens' second novel tells the story of the orphan Oliver set against the seamy underside of the London criminal world. Published in monthly parts in Bentley's Miscellany, partly concurrent with Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby, the novel was illustrated by George Cruikshank.
In this departure from the merry world of Pickwick, Dickens targets the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 which renewed the importance of the workhouse as a means of relief for the poor.
Dickens was severely criticized for introducing criminals and prostitutes in Oliver Twist, to which Dickens replied, in the preface to the Library Edition of Oliver Twist in 1858, "I saw no reason, when I wrote this book, why the very dregs of life, so long as their speech did not offend the ear, should not serve the purpose of a moral, at least as well as its froth and cream." The novel was well received but not with the adulation of Pickwick.
One of the most dramatized of Dickens' works, Oliver Twist was appearing in 10 theaters in London before serialization of the novel was even completed.
These are original prints over 160 years old, not reproductions.
We have many more prints by the Cruikshank family... please see the Satire/Humor page by clicking here.
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.
Popular illustrator who became an early friend of Dickens, illustrating Sketches by Boz and Oliver Twist. Cruikshank also acted in Dickens' amateur theatrical company. Their friendship cooled when Cruikshank, formerly a heavy drinker, became a fanatical teetotaler in opposition to Dickens' views of moderation. Cruikshank later claimed that the idea for Oliver Twist had been his.
An excellent source of information about Dickens illustrators (including the above) can be found here.
Sorry, these are all of the Oliver Twist prints in stock.
Many more Cruikshank prints on the Humor and Satire page