Master Humphrey’s Clock
Dickens, Charles. Master Humphrey’s Clock. Illus. George Cattermole
and Hablot Browne. London, 1840–1841. Print.
Master Humphrey’s Clock was a weekly magazine (April 4, 1840 –
December 4, 1841) edited and completely written by Dickens. In it he
published two of his novels, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge.
In The Old Curiosity Shop, with the death of the character Little
Nell, Dickens recreated, and relived, the death of his sister-in-law,
Mary Hogarth, who died in 1837 at age seventeen in his arms, an event
that traumatized him. Readers of the serial could sense that Nell was
dying. Many wrote to beg him to let her live. In Boston Harbor as a
clipper ship bringing the latest installment of the novel approached the
wharf, eager readers crowded onto it and shouted out to sailors on deck,
“Is Little Nell dead?”
This illustration from The Old Curiosity Shop pictures the villain
Daniel Quilp, a moneylender set to cheat and ruin the lives of others.