The Father Of The Marshalsea

This morning I received my Covid vaccine invitation in the post and booked my appointments at a centre less than eight miles away by telephone. The first jab will be in one week’s time. The whole process went very smoothly. The service has been quick and efficient.

I have now read the first 6 chapter’s of ‘Little Dorrit’ and this afternoon scanned five more of Charles Keeping’s drawings.

The artist faithfully describes Miss Wade’s appearance and aloof manner;

his rendering of the Clennam home is most evocative of a neglected edifice;

the diminutive Mr Flintwinch shakes his much taller wife out of a nightmare;

our first sighting of our eponymous character is rendered exactly as the author described;

‘the Father of the Marshalsea’ enjoys a good number of perks from departing residents.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I enjoyed a Recital encore.


  1. I enjoy seeing these illustrations. Glad you will be getting innoculated shortly. There is such a lot of brouhaha over the roll out of vaccines here – and the country hasn’t even taken delivery of any!

    1. Where do you live, Anne? I am in Australia, and we really have no clear idea when to expect vaccinations to begin, nor which vaccine we might be offered

  2. Most pleased that you have an appointment for the vaccine. We are still waiting for our age group to be allowed to make said appointments. (Eligible are currently age 70, we’re both in the next eligible group age 65 – 69.) Was Jackie also able to get an appointment?

  3. What a welcome invitation!
    Everyone I know who has received their jab/s have reported it to have been a very smooth and quick process – I do hope that the same is true for you, Derrick.
    Not being very well informed, before reading your posts I had no idea that Charles Dickens had such a personal and sad connection with the Marshalsea. A testament of his spirit.

  4. Just curious to know what make of scanner you use. It does an excellent job, Derrick.

    Great news about the vaccinationss; a tiny step into the light again.

  5. I’m so so SO happy to hear you are lined up to get your vaccine!!!
    We will line up as soon as they will let us.
    Thank you for teaching me more about Mr. Dickens, his writings, AND Mr. Keeping and his art!
    Mr. Keeping’s art brings me such joy! The details, the flow, the faces, etc…all captures me in!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  6. I am glad the vaccination process is going well over there, and you will have your appointment soon. Looks like it will still be a few months out for Rick, and for me.

    I am also still enjoying the illustrations!

    1. Thanks very much, Jill. In these days of restrictions Mr Chan takes the order then brings the food out to the car – even last night in the grip of storm Christophe.

  7. I’m very glad to hear that you were able to receive a vaccination appointment, Derrick. Hopefully, the jab will go as smoothly as the appointment process. A fine selection of Keeping drawings!

  8. I’m glad you got an appointment. I saw an email that my age group is eligible, and the next day got another email the county health dept. is booked up for at least a week with over 1000 appointments.. At 65, I’m at the bottom of the group and not in a rush if other people need it more. I like the details in the illustrations.

  9. great news on the vaccination – here in NZ, I don’t we have any quite yet, mainly because of our current situation – but apparently when we are in the loop – first up is front line workers at border entry points and managed isolation workers. Then I guess it will move down through some type of eligible system.

  10. I never imagined I’d experience vaccine envy! I’ve been trying and trying to get on a list, but haven’t made it yet. It’s a little odd, really. I’m certainly old enough to qualify, but when more vaccine shows up, getting through the phone lines or websites to make a reservation is almost impossible. Yesterday, the thousand vials that arrived were reserved in an hour. So it goes.

  11. Glad you have an appointment for your vaccine; my mum, aged eighty eight and in a care home, had hers yesterday, with no ill effects.
    Love the first image of the aloof young lady.

  12. Good news about the jab Derrick. They’re starting here in 3 weeks, the delay has been because the virus is under control at present (fingers crossed it stays that way) giving the authorities the chance to monitor the results and or problems in those countries that are vaccinating.

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