Illustration to The Great Worm by Charles Ricketts


“Illustration to The Great Worm” is designed by Charles Ricketts (editor of The Dial along with Charles Shannon) and executed by M. and N. Hanhart. It is an original print made using lithography. It appears as the front piece to the first issue of The Dial published in August 1889. The image acts as an illustration to the fairy tale “The Great Worm” by John Gray, which appears later in the issue on page 14. The illustration is true to the way the author describes both of the characters in the story. The Worm is white and gold, and it seems as if there is no end to him because his body goes all the way back to the mountain range, which emphasizes his massive size. According to the story, the women displayed in the illustration is the Worm’s love interest. In the fairy tale the Worm dies of unreturned love for the woman, and in the image even though the woman is looking at the Worm it is unclear how she feels towards him. In contrast, the smile on the Worm’s face makes it evident that he is interested in the woman. The image can be linked to the Pre-Raphaelite movement in art, which is also evident in other art pieces by Charles Ricketts.  

Source: "The Dial". Yellow Nineties 2.0. Retreived from

Associated Place(s)


  • Charles Ricketts

Image Date: 

Aug 1889