George III: A Life in Caricature

George III: A Life in Caricature

by Kenneth Baker
     
 

The misfortunes and missteps of the "last King of America" told through the cartoons of the day.

George III enjoyed one of the longest reigns in English history (1760-1820) at a time when both England and the world were undergoing drastic changes. Yet he remains a dim figure, remembered mainly for his failures (losing America) and his "madness" (which…  See more details below

Overview

The misfortunes and missteps of the "last King of America" told through the cartoons of the day.

George III enjoyed one of the longest reigns in English history (1760-1820) at a time when both England and the world were undergoing drastic changes. Yet he remains a dim figure, remembered mainly for his failures (losing America) and his "madness" (which turns out to have been not mental but physical). He was highly unpopular for much of his reign, and this judgment is spectacularly endorsed by hundreds of contemporary caricatures, many reproduced here for the first time. Among George's enemies were some of the wittiest artists of any age, and few took the trouble to be fair. This was the way the English nation saw its king, adding a new dimension to what is ultimately a tragic story. 200 color illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This compelling monograph depicts the antiquarian Lord Kenneth Baker's extensive collection of satirical art that focused on the reign of Great Britain's King George III. George's 60-year reign (1760-1820) was marked by the monumentally influential conflicts of the American Revolution and the Seven Years' War, before it ended ignominiously in years of isolation and mental illness. For those whose anticipation of the 2008 political campaigns is colored by fear, this time capsule from an era two centuries removed may prove to be a depressing reminder that vitriol is endemic to political discourse. However, the vulgar motifs running through these antique depictions of George III's reign will shock most 21st-century readers and may induce the reassuring realization that today, at least-stained dresses notwithstanding-we are spared such Hogarthian glimpses into our political leaders' excretory functions, which the 18th-century pamphleteers promulgated. Illustrators of the day had no qualms about depicting their king and queen being raped or nude party leaders sharing chamber pots. This focused portfolio of vintage satire documents a time when both political and artistic discourse were more coarse and fearless; recommended for most collections.-Douglas F. Smith, Berkeley P.L., CA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500251409
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
10/29/2007
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Baker brings his own extensive experience in politics to this examination of George III's life. He entered the House of Commons in 1968 and served as Environment Secretary and Education Secretary under Margaret Thatcher and as Home Secretary in John Major's government. He now sits in the House of Lords.

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