October 2010 Archives

Lawrence Hutton as a boy meeting Thackeray

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Charles M. Relyea (1863-1932), A Boy I Knew, 1896. Pen and ink drawing with gouache highlights. Graphic Arts GA 2006.01984

The American journalist Laurence Hutton (1843-1904) published his autobiography in four monthly issues of St. Nicholas magazine from December 1896 to March 1897, under the title “A Boy I Knew.” The memoir ends in Savannah around 1853, “when his father told him to observe particularly the old gentleman with the spectacles, who occupied a seat at their table in the public dining-room; for, he said, the time would come when The Boy would be very proud to say that he had breakfasted, and dined, and supped with Mr. Thackeray. …He did pay particular attention to Mr. Thackeray, with his eyes and his ears; and one morning Mr. Thackeray paid a little attention to him, of which he is proud, indeed. Mr. Thackeray took The Boy between his knees, and asked his name, and what he intended to be when he grew up. He replied, ‘A farmer, sir.’ Why, he cannot imagine, for he never had the slightest inclination toward a farmer’s life. And then Mr. Thackeray put his gentle hand upon The Boy’s little red head, and said: ‘Whatever you are, try to be a good one.’ And whatever The Boy is, he has tried, for Thackeray’s sake, ‘to be a good one!’”

In 1897, Hutton received the honorary degree of A.M. from Princeton University and published a hard cover edition of the memoir as: Laurence Hutton (1843-1904), A Boy I Knew and Four Dogs (New York: Harper, 1898). Laurence Hutton Collection (HTN) 3794.8.32

More Jack Sheppard

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The Daily Journal. Tuesday 17 November 1724
“Yesterday morning, about nine of the clock, the famous John Sheppard was carried up from the Condemn’d Hold to the Chapel in Newgate, where having heard prayers and received the Holy Sacrament, he was brought down again to the Press-Yard between ten and eleven, when Mr Watson came in the name of the sheriffs to demand his body;

Mr Perry and Mr Reuse … deliver’d the same: Mr Watson told the prisoner, that he must put him on a pair of handcuffs for his security; he vehemently resisted the same, flying into the greatest passion, and endeavour’d to beat the Officers; upon searching him, they found a penknife conceal’d about his cloaths, with which ‘tis apprehended, he design’d to have cut the ropes, and attempted to escape out of the car … .

When he arrived at the Tree, he sent for Mr Applebee, a printer, into the cart, and in the view of several thousands of people, deliver’d to him a printed pamphlet, Entitled, A Narrative of all the Robberies and Escapes of John Sheppard, … which he desired might be forthwith printed and publish’d.”

Portions of this text, written by Sheppard, are reprinted in: The Life and Exploits of Jack Sheppard: a Notorious Housebreaker and Footpad; giving a full acount of his numerous robberies: his escape from the New Prison; his commitment to Newgate; he is tried, and receives sentence of death; his wonderful escape from thence although loaded with irons; he is retaken, confined in the condemned cell, and chained to the floor; then removed to a stronger place in Newgate, called the Castle, from which place he escapes in the night; he is again taken, and secured in Newgate; after which he is hung at Tyburn (Derby: Thomas Richardson; London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; Portsea: S. Horsey, [1830?]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2010-1247N

Newpaper text from: Rictor Norton, “Jack Sheppard, Jail-Breaker,” Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, 9 October 2003. http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/sheppard.htm

Sunrise is coming after while

Langston Hughes (1902-1967), Sunrise is Coming After While. Poems selected by Maya Angelou; prints by Phoebe Beasley (New York: Limited Editions Club, 1998). Copy 170 of 300. Numbered and signed by Phoebe Beasley and Maya Angelou. Graphic Arts GAX 2010- in process

The Limited Editions Club created and published modern fine press editions for a small group of subscribers. This was a high volume business, with as many as twelve projects completed each year in editions of 1500. The Club was founded and managed by George Macy (1900-1956) from 1929 to 1956; by Helen Macy from 1956 to 1968; and their son Jonathan Macy from 1968 to 1970. During the 1970s, the imprint was bought and sold several times, with little artistic success until 1978, when Sidney Shiff (1924-2010) took over.


Under Shiff’s direction, a number of beautiful livres d’artistes were produced highlighting the work of African American writers and artists. For the 1998 season, Shiff contacted the poet Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson, 1928) and LA artist Phoebe Beasley (born 1944) to develop a book of poetry by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Angelou selected the poems and Beasley responded to them with six brightly colored screen prints. Angelou then completed the volume by writing both an introduction and an afterword. Drexel Press printed Beasley’s plates and the text was designed and hand-set in Monotype perpetua by Michael and Winifred Bixler.


For more information on Angelou, see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/arts/design/27archive.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
For more information on Beasley, see www.PhoebeBeasley.com
For more information on Hughes, see http://www.langstonhughessociety.org/
For more information on the Limited Editions Club, see http://www.majure.net/lechistory.htm
William Burton, “The Decline and Fall of The Limited Editions Club,” American Book Collector (July/August 1980).


Out of darkness, cometh light


Wolverhampton is an industrial city in the West Midlands of England, in the county of Staffordshire. When I looked it up, I found the motto of the city is “Out of darkness, cometh light.”

This is significant in that the South Staffordshire Industrial & Fine Arts Exhibition, opening May 11, 1869, highlighted the relatively new art of painting with light, or photography. The catalogue of the exhibition, seen here, featured two original albumen prints trimmed and pasted into every copy. Note that ours is the second edition, tenth thousand issue. Such a large edition was necessary, given the fair welcomed over 200,000 visitors in just five months.

In his opening speech, Lord Granville said “The treasures of art and the products of skilled industry, both past and present, collected within these walls are invaluable by suggesting ideas and planting seeds that should bear good fruit in the future, and instill into their minds a will and taste for the beautiful and the refined.”


South Staffordshire Industrial & Fine Arts Exhibition, Molineux House, Wolverhampton, 1869: official catalogue. Second edition, Tenth thousand (Wolverhampton: Steen and Blacket, Steam Printing Works, 1869). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2008-2487N

The Many Characters of Frederick Henry Yates


Unknown artist, Mr. Yates in the Characters of His Entertainment called ‘Reminiscences’, [1827?]. Hand colored lithograph. GC021 British Cartoons and Caricatures Collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895

The life and career of actor Frederick Henry Yates (1797-1842) is closely tied to that of actor Charles Mathews (1776-1835). They met in the winter of 1817-18, when Mathews convinced Yates to become an actor. After a successful early career, Yates purchased and managed the Adelphi Theatre in London in partnership with Mathews, while also continuing to perform.

Mathews developed a one-man play called At Home, in which he revived each of his most successful roles in a single evening. Yates attempted the same format, which he called Yates’ Reminiscences, first performed in Edinburgh in 1827. The genre has been called a monopolylogue and this print shows the various roles Yates would play during the evening, including Mrs. Pry, Bob Major, Nathaniel the Cobbler, Peter Snick, Fleix Fact, Solomon Rushbottom, Mrs. Rushbottom, and Brush-flyettn.

For more information, see: Charles Mathews (1776-1835), Mathews & Yates At Home: Mr. Mathew’s new entertainment, being a lecture on perculiarities and manners entitled, The spring meeting … also, Mr. Yates singular report of a breach of promise of marriage … called Love among the lawyers, or, Courting in court .. to which is added, a monopolylogue, called Harlequin & Mr. Jenkins, or, Pantomime in the parlour … (London: J. Duncombe, [1829]). Rare Books: Theatre Collection (ThX) 3851.66.361

Frederick Henry Yates (1797-1842), Yates’ Reminiscences; or, Etchings of Life and Character: Consisting of Sketches from Life, Manners, & Peculiarities. As performed with the most unqualified success, at the Adelphi Theatre; including anecdotes of living characters, tales, and the six original comic songs. Of masquerading. Vauxhall Gardens, with humourous recitation. Smithfield Cattle Shew, with all the speaking. Pawnbroker’s shop. Humours of an election, with laughable speaking parts. Theatrical fund dinner, with all the speaking, imitations, speeches, &c. Also, A monopolylogue, called Mr. Chairman: embellished with a coloured plate (London: Printed and published by John Duncombe, and sold by all other booksellers [1826]) Rare Books: Theatre Collection (ThX) 3851.66.361

A Satire on Quacks and Quackery

Egbert van Heemskerck II (ca 1674-1744), Behold how in the colledge hall [or Satire on Quacks and Quackery], ca. 1730. Hand-colored etching. GC021 British Cartoons and Caricatures Collection

The Dutch-English artist Egbert van Heemskerck II (ca 1674-1744) is represented in the graphic arts collection by eight hand-colored etchings. We believe these are by Heemskerck the younger, although both father and son had the same name and attribution of their works has been questioned. Originally from Haarlem, the family settled in London and Heemskerck was briefly a singer at Sadler’s Wells.

William Hogarth, another eighteenth-century painter, is said to have been fond of Heemskerck’s work and may have used this series as a reference for his Fourth Stage of Cruelty, among other works. Like Hogarth, Heemskerck first painted the series and then, had the images translated into prints for wide distribution. The eight are all satires on eighteenth-century life, with animal heads on (somewhat) human bodies. The image seen here is a satire on quacks and quackery, offering a depiction of modern medical practices.

None of the prints are titled but the artist includes a poem with each describing the scene. Here are the eight captions (spelling is Heemskerck’s):

1.Behold how in the colledge hall, the surgeons and the doctors all, Are met in consultation wise, a carcase to anatomize: the master there displays his art, sagely discants on every part, and that with ears & eyes and nose, we hear, and see, and smell, he shows.

2.As you like this, young gentlemen, play truant if you please again, how often must I give you warning, to leave your tricks and mind your learning: and as for your part Hussy, you, (I promise ye) shall have your due, I’ll teach ye how to romp about, as soon as ever I’m gone out

3.See valiant Captain Snout appears, the drum beats up for volunteers, you that are weary of your wives, and willing to live merry lives, who from the Tally man woud run, and clutches of the bailiff shun, lift under him without delay, and enter into present pay

4.A barbers shop a medley shews, of monsters, wigs, drawn-teeth and news, while one is shav’d another bleeds, a third the Grub Street Journal reads. The master full of Whig and Tory, talks politics and tells a story, and swears he is not such a sot, but that he knows full well, what’s what.

5.Now gentlemen - see here’s a piece - I hope you’ll all bid up for this. Two Guineas - thirty shillings - twenty. Sure gentlemen that will content ye. Who bids? Fifteen dye say? For shame tis not the vaule of the frame. Sixteen is bid for’t - once - twice - thrice, sixteen - tis going at half the price.

6.The gin-retailers, (if there’s any) who can by a licence get a penny, are those, who in such manner use it, as if their study was, t’abuse it: who rules and orders never mind, whose shops you may at midnight find throng’d, as with maggots in a cheese, with punks & bunters — such as these

7.While thus the revelling debauchee, dandles his mistress on his knee, th’ old baud is reckoning up the score, of all that has been spent and more. In comes the monarch of the night, and puts them in a horrid fright, the lover swears, the lady shrieks, behind the door the bully sneeks.

8.While thus the revelling debauchee, dandles his mistress on his knee, th’ old baud is reckoning up the score, of all that has been spent and more. In comes the monarch of the night, and puts them in a horrid fright, the lover swears, the lady shrieks, behind the door the bully sneeks.

Dr. Gasset, doctor of divinity and bibliophile

Dr. G…..t. D.D., June 26, 1806. Hand-colored etching. Graphic Arts British caricature.

British Museum

Both the British Museum and Princeton’s graphic arts collection hold a copy of this 1806 caricature of an antiquarian, etched by an anonymous artist. The coloring is different and so are the hats, but each gentleman is described similarly as “Good humoured. Learned. Eloquent & of Perfect Acquaintance with Ancient Manuscripts & Books.” Happily, a hand-written note on the BM sheet identifies this doctor of divinity as Dr. Gasset.

Exposition coloniale internationale, 1931

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On May 6, 1931, the first of 33,000,000 people walked through the gates of the Exposition coloniale internationale in the eastern suburbs of Paris. The exposition, which continued for six months, included a recreation of Mount Vernon from the United States, along with pavilions from Italy, Japan, and many other countries.

The majority of the expo’s 500 acres of land was used to present the French colonies of the period. Buildings were recreated and native men and women traveled to Paris to perform their music and dance; demonstrate their crafts and foods; and present the customs of their daily life. Particularly popular was a display of an entire tribe of nomadic Senegalese peoples.

Graphic Arts holds a souvenir stereoscopic viewer with 46 tiny glass slides from the 1931 exposition. Here are a few of the images. I apologize for the quality. The miniature scale (approximately one inch square) and uneven photography means we will have to digitize each image individually, rather than in groups.

Stereoscopic slides and viewer depicting scenes from Exposition coloniale, 1931. GA 2007.04407. Purchased with funds provided by Robert J. Ruben, Class of 1955.
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For more information, see: 1931, les étrangers au temps de l’exposition colonial (Paris: Gallimard: Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, 2008). Firestone Library JV7915 .A15 2008.

M. Cloche, 60 aspects de l’exposition colonial (Paris: Studio Deberny Peignot, 1931). Marquand Library (SA) Oversize NA6610.C62q

Exposition coloniale internationale: guide offert par les Grands Magasins Au Bon Marché … ([Paris: Au Bon Marché, 1931]) Rare Books (Ex) 2004-2213N

Benoit de L’Estoile, Le goût des autres: de l’exposition coloniale aux arts premiers (Paris: Flammarion, 2007). Marquand Library (SA) T805.1931.G1 L47 2007

Didier Grandsart, Paris 1931: revoir l’exposition coloniale (Paris: FVW, 2010). Firestone Library (F)

Rodolfo Micacchi, Sculptures antiques en Libye; 32 planches avec introduction et texte explicative (Bergamo: Istituto italiano d’arti grafiche [1931]). Marquand Library (SA) NB85 .I67

Patricia A. Morton, Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000). Architecture Library (UES) NA6750.P4 E956 2000

First Cuban illustrated book

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Born in Portugal, Antonio Parra y Callado traveled to Cuba around 1771 on a commission from Madrid’s newly established Royal Cabinet of Natural History (later called the National Museum of Natural Sciences). The thirty-two-year-old enthusiast, with no academic training, collected plants and seeds to be sent back to the museum’s Botanical Garden.

Parra quickly became fascinated with the Cuban culture, the topography, and the diverse natural history of the Caribbean. His studies expanded, eventually focusing on marine life, collecting and documenting specimens of salt and fresh water fish, crustaceans, corals, eels, turtles, and other marine plant life over the next thirty years.

Parra married and his son, Manuel Antonio Parra y Muñoz, was born in Havana. A talented artist, Manuel joined his father’s research team while still a teen-ager, sketching, etching, and printing images of the specimens they collected. Together they published an exhaustive study of the fish of Cuba, which is believed to be the first scientific treatise published in Cuba, as well as the first Cuban illustrated book.

The volume describes and illustrates sixty different species of fish and twenty-three crustaceans. Among the most interesting is a folding plate following the title page that presents a group of lobsters on an elaborate silver platter. The book’s plates account for nearly one half of the island’s production of printed images in the eighteenth century. Parra established his own Cabinet of Natural History in Havana; I wonder if anyone reading this has been there?

The final chapter, added without explanation, documents a black slave with an enlarged hernia. Identified by researchers at the John Carter Brown Library as Domingo Fernández, this man was one of the first Caribbean slaves to be depicted in a published source.


Antonio Parra y Callado (1739-18??), Descripcion de diferentes piezas de historia natural las mas del ramo maritimo: representadas en setenta y cinco laminas (Havana: En la imprenta de la Capitanía General, 1787). 75 copper plate etchings, one hand colored. Graphic Arts (GAX) in process. Purchased with the fund given by Kenneth H. Rockey, Class of 1916, in memory of his wife, Isabel A. Rockey.

Lyon Entranced after [what?] Hogarth

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This eighteenth-century etching entitled The Lyon Entranced is inscribed with the name of William Hogarth (1697-1764) as designer, although there is no similarly titled funeral scene within Hogarth’s prints. Change a few characters and add to the dialog balloons, and you have a print owned by the British Museum, seen at the left.

However, this etching, dated September 29, 1762, makes no mention of Hogarth. The scene depicts the last private meeting between British leaders (Cumberland, York, Bute, Fox, Bedford, Pitt, Temple, and Newcastle), before the signing of the preliminary articles of peace, which ended the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years’ War, on November 3, 1762.

Hogarth designed and published a very different satirical print in reaction to the politics of the day, which he called The Times (see earlier post). Also dated September 1762, Hogarth’s dramatic print shows Pitt fanning the flames of war, while London goes up in smoke.

Perhaps the publisher of the scene above thought he could ride on the coattails of Hogarth’s success but later, reconsidered and removed Hogarth’s name before the print’s final state?


Bernard Reilly, in his catalogue American Political Prints, 1766-1876, describes this Thomas Nast broadside as “a searing, election-year indictment of four prominent figures in the democratic party.” He continues:

“Former New York governor and democratic presidential nominee Horatio Seymour is portrayed as a ‘rioter.’ Standing in a burning city, he waves his hat in the air while he steps on the back of a crawling figure. In the background a corpse hangs from a lamppost. Between 1862 and 1964 Seymour had opposed Lincoln’s was policies, and he was branded as instigator of the 1863 New York draft riots.”

“Tennessee general Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, and infamous for his role in the massacre of surrendered Union troops at Fort Pillow, is called ‘The Butcher Forrest.’ He waves a flag labeled ‘No Quarter’ and fires a pistol.”

“Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes is portrayed as a pirate, wielding a knife in one hand and holding a flaming torch in the other … . Semmes was the scourge of Union shipping during the Civil War. Under his command the Alabama, a British-built ship, captured sixty-two merchant vessels, most of which were burned. An excerpt from Semmes’s July 1868 speech at Mobile, Alabama, appears below this image.”

“Confederate cavalry officer Wade Hampton appears as a hangman. He holds his plumed hat at his side and wears inscribed ‘C.S.A.’ (Confederate States of America). In the distance three Yankee soldiers hang from a gallows.”

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), Leaders of the Democratic Party, 1868. 38 x 24 inches (96 x 61 cm). Wood engraved broadside. Graphic arts GA2010- in process.

Bernard Reilly, American Political Prints, 1766-1876 (Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1991). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize E183.3 .R45 1991q.

Tobacco packaging papers


“Tobacco was among the first commodities to be sold in printed paper wrappers,” writes Michael Twyman, in his Enclyclopedia of Ephemera.

“The design element of tobacco papers was normally confined to the centre of the printed sheet, which was large enough to accommodate varying quantities of tobacco. The earliest designs were in the tradition of the bookplate, but later they took on the characteristics of the trade card and were often printed from plates actually designed as trade cards. Engraved pictorial designs were common in Germany, Holland, and France; although almost everywhere they gave way to the crude woodcuts that were to remain the common denominator….”

Here are three recently acquired nineteenth-century examples from Amsterdam.

Maurice Rickards, The Encyclopedia of Ephemera; edited and completed by Michael Twyman, with the assistance of Sally De Beaumont and Amoret Tanner (New York: Routledge, 2000). Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF), Oversize NC1280 .R52 2000q

2010-2011 Adler Book Collecting Prize

Deadline for entries: 12:00 Midnight, Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize is awarded annually to the student or students who, in the opinion of the judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. The prize is endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates. The rarity and value of the student’s collection are not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

Jane & Louise Wilson, Oddments Room II (Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle), 2008. C-print, Edition of 4. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

An informational session introducing the contest will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 in the Scheide Library, located in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library. The Scheide Library holds outstanding collections of Bibles in manuscript and print, including a Gutenberg and a 36-line Bible; medieval manuscripts and incunabula; music manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven; and other rare materials. Scheide Librarian Paul Needham will give a brief tour and talk about the importance of book collecting. Regine Heberlein, RBSC archivist, will be on hand to answer questions about the Adler Prize.

Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Regine: heberlei@princeton.edu by 12:00 Midnight, Tuesday, November 30, 2010 and should be no more than ten pages, double-spaced. Your entry should include a bibliography of the items in your collection. Please note your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number on a separate cover sheet.

Winners will receive their prizes at the annual winter dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. The first prize essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle and has the honor of representing Princeton University in an international book collecting competition.


Informational meeting: 4:30 pm, October 19, 2010

Deadline for entries: 12:00 Midnight, November 30, 2010

First prize: $2000

Second prize: $1500

Third prize: $1000

Suggested readings from Paul Needham, Scheide Librarian:

Michael Sadleir, preface to his XIX Century Fiction (1951). Firestone 3579.079

A.N.L. Munby, Essays and Papers (1977). Firestone Z992.M958

John Carter, Taste and Technique in Book Collecting (1970). Firestone 0511.241.2.1970

G. Thomas Tanselle “The Rationale of Collecting,” Studies in Bibliography. Online at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/bsuva/sb

Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism

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Inscribed: Believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they are of God: because many false Prophets are gone out into the World.

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William Hogarth (1697-1764), Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism. A Medley. 15 March 1762. Etching with engraving. 3rd state. Graphic Arts, William Hogarth Collection.

This plate is a reworking of the unpublished Enthusiasm Delineated, engraved in 1760. It shows the interior of a Methodist meeting house, possibly Whitefield’s Tabernacle, in Tottenham Court Road. It is fun to note the preacher’s text is “I speak as a fool” (2 Corinthians, ii.23); the chandelier is inscribed “New and Correct Globe of Hell”; and the woman on the floor is Mary Toft, the Rabbit Woman.

The original Mary Toft attracted attention in the fall of 1726, when she claimed to have delivered several rabbits (one per day). At the end of November, she was brought to London to perform this feat but ultimately confessed that she had inserted the rabbit into her uterus.

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It is not known for certain why Hogarth began this scene under one title and published it, greatly revised, under another. Paulson suggests that Hogarth was originally influenced by an essay in the Idler written by Sir Joshua Reynolds (EX 3804.3.342), seen at the left. In this piece, Reynolds advocates for more enthusiasm in painting.

Later, Hogarth may have decided to switch titles after reading David Hume’s Essays, Moral and Political (EX 6100.1741). One particular chapter, entitled “Of Superstition and Enthusiasm” distinguishes between enthusiasm deriving from presumption and pride, and superstition deriving from weakness and fear.

One last image he might have seen was the popular broadside on English credulity, satirizing the play The Bottle Conjuror Hoax at the Haymarket Theatre.


English Credulity, or, Ye’re All Bottled. [broadside] London: Printed for B. Dickinson … , [1749]. London, 1749. Rare Books (Ex) Oversize PR3291.A1 E52q

Political Dreamings!

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James Gillray (1757-1815), Political-Dreamings! -Visions of Peace! -Perspective Horrors! November 9, 1801. Hand-colored etching. Graphic Arts (GA) 2006.01460. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

Not quite fifty years after Hogarth published his Election series, James Gillray offered his own commentary on contemporary politics (one of many). This print was so popular that the large stock was exhausted in just a few days.

A thorough description of each character, human and animal, can be found by searching the title at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database. In the meantime, here’s a synopsis of their research.

In the bed lies the statesman William Windham (1750-1810), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and War Minister in the first phase of the conflict with France; later he became Secretary for War and Colonies. Above his head is an olive branch bent down by the weight of a vulture, who says “Peace!” while killing a rabbit. On the left is Death standing on British trophies. One catalogue suggests a reference to Milton’s Paradise Lost: “Death Grinn’d horrible a ghastly smile, to hear His famine should be fill’d … “. On the extreme left is the Tower of London flying the French flag. Bonaparte is holding a rope attached to Britannia’s neck and a fat demon (Whig Charles James Fox (1749-1806)) is playing a guitar while London burns. Justice sits on a chamber-pot nearby. For more, see M. Dorothy George, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum, VIII, 1947.

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