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The age of caricature : satirical prints in the reign of George III / Diana Donald

Donald, Diana

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ISBN 10: 0300066058 / ISBN 13: 9780300066050
Published by New Haven ; London : Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, 1996
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Fine cloth copy in an equally fine dw. Particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered.; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 248 pages; Physical desc. : viii, 248 p. : ill. (some col. ), facsims. ; 29 cm. Contents: Introduction: The Laughing Audience -- 1. 'The Miserable Tribe of Party Etchers' -- 2. Wit and Emblem: The Language of Political Prints -- 3. 'Struggles for Happiness': The Fashionable World -- 4. The Crowd in Caricature: 'A Picture of England' -- 5. 'John Bull bother'd': The French Revolution and the Propaganda War of the 1790s -- Epilogue: Peterloo and the End of the Georgian Tradition in Satire. Subjects: George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820 - Humor. George III, King of Great Britain - Humor. George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820 - Humour. 248 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 177696

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The age of caricature : satirical prints in ...

Publisher: New Haven ; London : Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


The late eighteenth century in England was the first great age of cartooning, and English caricature prints of the period have long been enjoyed for their humor and vitality. Now Diana Donald presents the first major study of these caricatures, which challenges many assumptions about them. She shows that they were a widely disseminated form of political expression and propaganda as subtle and eloquent as the written word.

Donald analyzes the meanings of the prints, applying current perspectives on the eighteenth century about the changing roles of women and constructions of gender, the alleged rise of a consumer society, the growth of political awareness outside aristocratic circles, and the problems of defining "class" values in the later Georgian era. She discusses, for example, the social position of the Georgian satirist within the hierarchy of high and low art production; the relation between the shifting styles of political prints and the antagonisms of different political cultures; caricatures of fashion as expressions of ambivalent attitudes to luxury and "high society"; treatment of the crowd in the prints and the light this sheds on the myth of the freeborn Englishman; and what caricatures reveal about British reactions to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Donald concludes by describing the demise of the Georgian satirical print in the early nineteenth century, which she attributes in part to the new and urgent political purposes of radicals in the post-Napoleonic era. Illustrated with works by Gillray, Rowlandson, and other artists, many of which have never been published before, the book will be an enlightening and enjoyable reference for scholars and the general reader.


William Pitt commissioned them. Alexander Pope collected them. The Prince of Wales bribed their makers to stop them from being produced. Not even the most respected and sharp-penned political cartoonist of our time wields the influences, or, it could be argued, possesses the artistic skills of the satirical engravers of England in the 18th century who elevated caricature to the level of high art. Diana Donald, a professor of art history at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, illuminates the art and meaning of more than 200 etchings by the top practitioners of the day (Rowlandson, Gillray, the Cruikshank brothers) as well as less-skilled amateurs and professionals who were popular once but are now mostly forgotten.

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