Is the usage of the phrase "in despite of" instead of "in spite of" in the following passage from Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, chapter 15 incorrect or is it a Dickensian peculiarity?

Then the bell rang once more, and then once more, and then kept on ringing; in despite of which importunate summons, Affery still sat behind her apron, recovering her breath.


1 Answer 1


in despite of occurs more often in old texts, including Shakespeare.

Here is an ngram graph comparing it to simple despite:
Google Ngram in despite of, despite

Here is another, comparing it to in spite of:
Google Ngram in despite of, in spite of

  • 1
    I'm not sure how accurate Google NGram is in very old texts (e.g. pre-1600), both due to OCR errors and incorrect dates (a lot of results for early dates seem to be later reprints or translations). But despite that, a Google Books search definitely shows some examples of "in despite of" from very old texts.
    – Stuart F
    May 4 at 23:15

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