Sketches by Boz

The form of a giantess and the mind of a child” is a quotation from Sketches by BozTales. Chapter 7 (The Steam Excursion).

Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.


Description of Mrs. Taunton, the frivolous ‘good-looking widow of fifty‘ who lives with her daughters in Great Marlborough Street, London.

The quote is taken from the following passage in the sketch The Steam Excursion:

Mr. Percy Noakes brushed his hat, whisked the crumbs off his inexpressibles with a silk handkerchief, gave the ends of his hair a persuasive roll round his forefinger, and sallied forth for Mrs. Taunton’s domicile in Great Marlborough-street, where she and her daughters occupied the upper part of a house. She was a good-looking widow of fifty, with the form of a giantess and the mind of a child. The pursuit of pleasure, and some means of killing time, were the sole end of her existence. She doted on her daughters, who were as frivolous as herself.

A general exclamation of satisfaction hailed the arrival of Mr. Percy Noakes, who went through the ordinary salutations, and threw himself into an easy chair near the ladies’ work-table, with the ease of a regularly established friend of the family. Mrs. Taunton was busily engaged in planting immense bright bows on every part of a smart cap on which it was possible to stick one; Miss Emily Taunton was making a watch-guard; Miss Sophia was at the piano, practising a new song—poetry by the young officer, or the police-officer, or the custom-house officer, or some other interesting amateur.

‘You good creature!’ said Mrs. Taunton, addressing the gallant Percy. ‘You really are a good soul! You’ve come about the water-party, I know.’

Have Your Say.

Give your view on “The form of a giantess and the mind of a child” with a rating and help us compile the very best Charles Dickens quotations.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (18 votes, average: 7.28 out of 10)


If you like this, we think you might also be interested in these related quotations: