This illustration is from Walter Scott's 1819 novel Ivanhoe: A Romance. Set in 12th century England, it follows the adventures of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a disinherited knight returned from the Crusades. At this point, the badly wounded Ivanhoe is being nursed back to health by Rebecca, daughter of Isaac, the Jewish money-lender. They- and a few others- are imprisoned in Torquilstone Castle by corrupt Templar knights Maurice de Bracy, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, and Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. de Bois-Guilbert has developed an unhealthy obsession with Rebecca and tries- with more force than charm- to seduce her. When she climbs on a castle parapet and threatens to jump rather than become his mistress, even de Bois-Guilbert can see that she's just not that into him and backs off. Meanwhile, Ivanhoe's friends- including Robin of Locksley and the Black Knight- beseige the castle to rescue him and the rest of the captives. During the fighting, the castle is set on fire and a bloodied de Bois-Guilbert, realizing that they are going to be defeated, fights his way through the smoke to the room where Ivanhoe lies injured and grabs Rebecca, carrying her off and escaping from the castle. Ivanhoe is still too weak from his wounds to stop him, and de Bois-Guilbert callously leaves him to burn up. He is rescued by the Black Knight (who turns out to be King Richard) and must later ride to Rebecca's rescue.
This image is from Robert Heinlein's 1955 novel Tunnel In The Sky. One of his "juveniles," the book is set on a future earth which has figured out teleportation, which is used to transport colonists to other planets to alleviate overcrowding. The protagonist is Rod Walker, a high school student whose dream is to help settle a new planet. To prepare for this, he is taking an Advanced Survival class and it is time for the final exam. For this test, students are sent through the teleportation portal to an unknown planet where they must keep themselves alive for ten days, using only whatever they can carry on their person. Rod and a number of other students from various classes end up on a wilderness planet- though spread around in different areas- and set about surviving the elements and animals which inhabit this environment. The ten days come and go, the portal does not return, and it slowly dawns on the isolated students that something has gone horribly wrong. No one is coming for them and they're stuck on a strange and hazardous planet with virtually no supplies or technology.
This illustration is from Charles Dickens' 1838 novel The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which I've been thinking about since I posted a clip from the 2002 film version the other day. In this scene which takes place at Dotheboys Hall, Mr. Squeers is beating the unfortunate Smike for having run away from the school. Nicholas steps in to stop Squeers, who strikes him. Nickleby loses his temper and turns the tables on Squeers, administering a well-deserved thrashing to the cruel, sadistic schoolmaster. He then packs his bag and leaves Dotheboys Hall. Here's that scene as portrayed in the 2002 film:
This illustration is from Jane Austen's 1816 novel Emma. In it, Emma Woodhouse- the protagonist- fancies herself a skilled matchmaker and is attempting to arrange a romance between her friend Harriet Smith and the local vicar, Mr. Elton. With this end in mind, she gets Harriet to sit for a portrait while Mr. Elton is visiting. When he evinces great interest in the project, Emma takes this as proof positive that he is enamoured of Harriet. What she doesn't realize is that Mr. Elton, a shameless social climber, has actually set his sights on the wealthy Miss Woodhouse. His professed interest in Harriet's portrait is actually an attempt to curry favour with Emma. This eventually results in her being subjected to an extremely mortifying proposal scene, and Harriet having her feelings hurt because Emma had convinced her that Mr. Elton was in love with her.
This illustration is from one of the most ghoulish scenes in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and that's saying something considering that it's a ghost story. In it, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come shows Ebenezer Scrooge a grisly scene from his probable future. Scrooge's cleaning lady, his laundress, and the local undertaker are gathered at a pawn shop, selling off possessions they've pilfered from someone who has died (it turns out to be Scrooge). He has passed away alone, friendless, and unmourned, and his employees are stealing what possessions he had from around him as he lies dead in his bed- including his bedclothes and curtains. It's particularly horrifying when the laundress produces Scrooge's nightshirt to sell; she describes how she took it off his body, scandalized that someone was going to waste it by burying him in it. This is truly a dark scene.