Victorian Deathbed Scenes

December 4, 2008 at 9:23 am (Uncategorized)

Dear C19th Novels,

I’m having technical issues getting those deathbed scenes on here for you all. For now, you can google-image the following — they’re not difficult to find on the Net  [4/12 2:30pm, posted them now! ed]:

George Cattermole, ‘Death of Little Nell’ (1841)


Henry Peach Robinson, ‘Fading Away’ (1858)


Luke Fildes, ‘The Doctor’ (1891) (although I reckon this child is recovering — dawn has broken).

I’m ‘collecting’ deathbed scenes in Victorian culture: we talked about the 7 or so such scenes in *Mary Barton* last week, and there are numerous in Dickens of course; any more suggestions gratefully received.




  1. rhulvictorian said,

    I’m not as sanguine as you, Sally, about the fate of Fildes’ child. The lady at the table looks pretty despondent; and the washing (is it?) hanging in the top left hand corner looks like a spectral, Death-style presence in the room, with arms open wide to receive the kid’s soul. Plus there’s something scythe-like (as in, Death’s scythe) about the dark wooden upright and the curving ceiling beams.

    I find the Robinson a little hard to take seriously.

    Adam R

  2. Anna said,

    What about The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis?


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