This image is from the 1881 children's book Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Sent into the Swiss Alps to live with her grandfather, the young orphan Heidi is as friendly and outgoing as he is aloof and standoffish. She has become friends with Peter the goatherd as well as his mother and grandmother, and frequently visits them at their home further down the mountain. Once winter comes, however, Heidi can't get through the snow and she worries about not visiting Peter's grandmother who is blind and housebound. To her delight, her grandfather brings out a sled, bundles her up warmly, and takes her sliding down the mountain to the goatherd's house. He leaves her there and trudges back up the mountain, promising to return for her after her visit. As Heidi found out soon after her arrival on the mountain, her grandfather's bark is worse than his bite.
This image is from Stephen Leacock's 1912 book Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town, which is a Canadian classic. It contains a series of short stories detailing the antics of a small (fictional) Canadian town called Mariposa. This particular image is from the chapter entitled "The Marine Excursions of the Knights of Pythias". It tells the tale of the sinking of the steamer Mariposa Belle on Excursion Day. One would think that this would be high drama but, like most events in Mariposa, it quickly devolves into farce with the rescuers, so-called, needing to be rescued themselves by the people on the deck of the sinkingship: "They might have wondered more about it, but it was just at this time that they heard the shouts from the rescue boat—the big Mackinaw lifeboat—that had put out from the town with fourteen men at the sweeps when they saw the first rockets go up. I suppose there is always something inspiring about a rescue at sea, or on the water. After all, the bravery of the lifeboat man is the true bravery,—expended to save life, not to destroy it. Certainly they told for months after of how the rescue boat came out to the Mariposa Belle. I suppose that when they put her in the water the lifeboat touched it for the first time since the old Macdonald Government placed her on Lake Wissanotti. Anyway, the water poured in at every seam. But not for a moment,—even with two miles of water between them and the steamer,—did the rowers pause for that. By the time they were half-way there the water was almost up to the thwarts, but they drove her on. Panting and exhausted (for mind you, if you haven't been in a fool boat like that for years, rowing takes it out of you), the rowers stuck to their task. They threw the ballast over and chucked into the water the heavy cork jackets and lifebelts that encumbered their movements. There was no thought of turning back. They were nearer to the steamer than the shore. "Hang to it, boys," called the crowd from the steamer's deck, and hang they did. They were almost exhausted when they got them; men leaning from the steamer threw them ropes and one by one every man was hauled aboard just as the lifeboat sank under their feet. Saved! by Heaven, saved, by one of the smartest pieces of rescue work ever seen on the lake. There's no use describing it; you need to see rescue work of this kind by lifeboats to understand it."
This image is from the 1897 children's book by John Bennett, Master Skylark: A Story of Shakespeare's Time. The work is set in Elizabethan England and tells the story of Nick Attwood, a young boy who lives in Stratford with his loving mother and harsh, unforgiving father. One day in an act of rebellion against his father, Nick skips school to go watch a troupe of travelling actors in a nearby town. He has a chance meeting with the leader of the players, Gaston Carew. Carew hears Nick sing and realizes that the little country lad has a beautiful voice which will bring much money on the stage. He tricks Nick into going with him and then kidnaps him, taking him to London and changing his name to Nick Skylark, living comfortably off the money the boy makes as a singer at St. Paul's. Nick is desperate to go home to his mother but is either kept locked in Carew's house, or with Carew at the theater where he works. He overhears that Will Shakepeare, who is married to his mother's cousin, is working at a nearby theater and he's sure that the playwright will help him if he can get to him. One day while Carew is distracted at the theater, Nick climbs out a window and heads for the Thames, hoping to find Shakespeare before Carew figures out that he's gone.
This illustration is from John Bunyan's 1678 novel The Pilgrim's Progress (From This World, To That Which Is To Come). It is an important example of early English literature and an allegory for Christian life. It is written as a dream related by the narrator and tells the tale of the protagonist Christian, who is traveling from his home in the City of Destruction (this world) to the Celestial City (Heaven). In the pictured scene, Christian is going to the House of the Palace Beautiful, which is a place for godly pilgrims to rest and rejuvinate at the top of the Hill of Difficulty. To enter the Palace, however, he must pass through a narrow passage inhabited by two lions. Naturally afraid, Christian thinks about turning back but the Porter- named Watchful- sees him from the door of the Palace and calls out encouragement. He tells Christian to have faith and not fear: the lions are chained to the wall. Christian can't see the chains but decides to trust the Porter and walks the middle of the path; the lions roar and lunge but cannot reach him and he arrives safely at the door to the Palace Beautiful. Allegorically, the Palace is the Church, and the lions represent the threats of civil government and the state church (of England)- Bunyan was a Puritan- to those who seek the true Gospel. The Porter Watchful represents a minister of the Word who watches and cares for the faithful pilgrims. Christian stays at the Palace Beautiful for three days and leaves clad in the Armour of God.
This illustration is from Elizabeth Gaskell's 1853 book Cranford. It was originally published in installments in a magazine between 1851 and 1853, then put together in novel form. In this scene, one of the characters- Mrs. Jamieson- is relating to Lady Glenmire an incident involving her treasured lace collar and her cat. Mrs. Jamieson cares for her lace by soaking it in milk, presumably to whiten it, and is doing that one day when the cat walks in and spies the pan of milk. She begins drinking the milk and ends up consuming the lace as well, to the horror of Mrs. Jamieson, who sees what's happening too late to save her collar. Never at a loss, Mrs. Jamieson sends her maid Jenny to borrow a men's boot in which they place the cat. Mrs. Jamieson spoons an emetic (purge) into the cat's mouth and then waits for her lace to, er, reappear. It does, and Mrs. Jamieson reports proudly to Lady Glenmire that her lace collar (which she is wearing) was unharmed and, now that it's been thoroughly cleaned, one would never guess that it had been inside her cat.