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Grolier Club Exhibitions

1811-1820: Young George as Political Satirist; Social Satire: Lottery Puffs; Monstrosities, and the Drama of Queen Caroline

The Scourge; or Monthly Expositor, of Imposture and Folly. Vols. I–VI. London: Printed by W. N. Jones, Green Arbor Court, Old Bailey; for M. Jones, 5 Newgate Street; and sold by J. Johnson, Cheapside, and Goddard Pall Mall. (1811-1813).

In 1814, the name changed to The Scourge: or Literary, Theatrical and Miscellaneous Magazine, London: Printed and Published by W. N. Jones, No. 5 Newgate Street, and Sold by all the Booksellers in the United Kingdom. Vols. VII–X (1814–1815). Vol. XI ( Jan-June, 1816): printed and published by James Johnson.

Vol. III: “The Prince of Whales or the Fishermen at Anchor.” May 1st, 1811, G. Cruikshank fecit. 

Foldout, colored etching depicting the political and personal state of the Regency. The Prince’s spout of dark liquid is sprayed behind him onto Lords Grenville and Grey; the golden spray forward is onto Lord Percival, Chancellor of the Exchequer, leading the Prince by a golden chain, his supporters hanging onto his boat, endangered by rats, Wellesley and Canning. The Prince’s mistresses, Lady Hertford and Mrs. Fitzherbert, keep him occupied.

Vol. IV: “The Coronation of the Empress of the Nairs.” Pubd. September 1, 1812 by WN Jones, No. 5 Newgate, G. Cruikshank fecit.

Foldout, hand-colored etching depicting the Prince of Wales (now Regent) assisting in the bath of Lady Hertford, his mistress. The Nairs, groups of Hindi castes that practiced polygamy and hypergamy (marrying above your caste), were referred to in a recently published romance by J.H. Lawrence. The cuckolded Lord Hertford stands behind the statue with the stigmatizing antlers.

Vol. IX: “The Phenix [sic] of Elba Resuscitated by Treason.” Pubd. May 1, 1815 by WN Jones, Newgate. G. Cruikshank fecit.

Foldout, hand-colored etching, depicting Napoleon arising from the cauldron of war reignited on his return from Elba in March 1815, with his officers dancing around the flames. Upper left, Lord Castlereagh, Foreign Secretary, reports to the Regent the strong popular opposition to continuing the war against France and the peace treaty negotiated at the Congress of Vienna based on the belief that Castlereagh and the Regent had sided with England’s conservative allies, dividing the spoils of war at the expense of emerging national and liberal movements. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo did not occur until June 18.


The Life of Napoleon, a Hudibrastic Poem in Fifteen Cantos. By Doctor Syntax [William Combe], embellished with Thirty Engravings by G. Cruikshank. London. Printed for T. Tegg, 111 Cheapside; Wm Allason, 31, New Bond Street & J. Dick, Edinburgh. 1815.

Title page.
“Quadrupeds or Little Boney’s Last Kick." Hand-colored etching by George Cruikshank, London, W. N Jones, 1 Jany 1813. 'G. Cruikshank fect. Pubd January 1st 1813, by W N Jones, 5 Newgate Street. Used as frontispiece for The Scourge, Vol. V.
“An Arch Design. Intended for Boney's Triumphal Entry into Paris!!!” Hand colored etching. G Ck Pub, Jany 1812 [1813], by J. Johnson, 96 Cheapside.

Napoleon had returned to Paris in early December, leaving his troops to a cold retreat after his disastrous Russian campaign.

“Review of the French Troops on their Returning March through Smolensko----- Altho their Dress is not gaudy it is warm & that is the principle thing!! Vide - the Hamburg Correspondenten for 1812 - No. 180 --14th March—“ G. Cruikshank, Publ. May 27th, 1813, by H. Humphrey, St. James Street. Hand-colored etching.

This is one of several prints Cruikshank designed from etchings created by Russian artists who were lampooning Napoleon as he retreated from Moscow.

“The Modern Hannibal alias the King of Rome, swearing Eternal Enmity to England.” Publ. Jan 16, 1814 by T. Tegg, 111 Cheapside, London. G. Cruikshank, fecit. Hand-colored etching.
“Complements & Congees or Little Boney's Surrender to the Tars of Old England.” Publ. July 24, 1815. G. Cruikshank fecit. Np. [by J Johnston Cheapside]. Hand-colored etching.
Selection of Lottery Puffs. Woodcuts from the collection of William Hartmann-Woodin, all attributed to Cruikshank, many signed GCk in pen or pencil, dating variously from 1812-1820. Hand-colored etchings.

Since 1806 (at age 14), Cruikshank had drawn amusing caricatures for the lottery contractors in London to decorate their small lottery advertisements and tickets. By 1819, there was a growing popular objection to such comic encouragement of betting.

“Charioteer Snip on Rising Ground.” Priscilla Groote, invt. G. Cruikshank, scupt. Hand-colored etching by George Cruikshank after a drawing by an amateur. Published by James Whittle and Richard Holmes Laurie, October 18th, London, 1813. Hand-colored etching.

Broadside minus verses making fun of a wealthy tailor driving his own carriage made with all the trimmings of his trade, with the wife inside and an ill-equipped footman on the pincushion behind.

“Hard Times or, O Dear What shall we do. O dear what shall become of us?!!” Pubd Feby 10th 1814, by T. Tegg, Cheapside, London. Hand-colored etching.

In London, unemployed workers would walk the streets with the tools of their trade asking for alms. Between an unusually hard frost in February 1814 and the long war with France, British resources were strained. Here, the procession is led by gardeners, apothecaries and two artists, Cruikshank holding aloft a palette, portfolio, brushes, and a large document: “Mr West’s Speech on the Gloomy State of the Arts,” the other is the painter Benjamin West. A paper inscribed “Poor Shanks fect” at Cruikshank’s feet serves as signature to the print. Napoleon with a rope round his neck is dragged by a demon carrying a pole with an eagle on which sits his baby son, the King of Rome. Four prostitutes follow, ending with the undertakers.

Monstrosities of 1816 – Scene, Hyde Park. Pl. 1, London Dandies,” Publ. by Thos. McLean, 26 Haymarket, Aug. 1, 1835. G. Cruikshank fecit.” Second issue. First published by George Humphrey in 1816. Hand-colored etching.
The Cholic,” [Frederick Marryat, del.] G. Cruikshank fecit. Publ by Thos. McLean, 26 Haymarket, Aug. 1, 1835. Second issue. First published February 12, 1819, by George Humphrey. Hand-colored etching.

Political Tracts. Six unnumbered volumes containing 42 pamphlets written by William Hone, illustrated with wood engravings by George Cruikshank, published 1819-1821. Including “John Bull’s Constitutional Apple Pie,” “Frown from the Crown,” “The Political House that Jack Built.” Many are of a later edition (e.g., Twelfth or Seventh), but all are dated as printed in the year first published or a year thereafter, demonstrating the enormity of their success.


The Divine Right of Kings to Govern Wrong. Dedicated to the Holy Alliance. Fourth Edition. London: Printed for William Hone, 45 Ludgate-Hill. 1821. One Shilling.

This pamphlet, Hone’s version of Daniel Defoe’s Jure Divino (1706), was published in opposition to the “Holy Alliance” created by the monarchs of Austria, Russia and Prussia in 1815 after Napoleon’s defeat, joined by Louis XVIII of France and George IV. In Britain, the religious and moral goals of the Alliance exposed the hypocrisy of new British King, and confirmed suspicions of a corrupt collusion between church and state to suppress emerging democratic ideals, all exacerbated by the “Queen Caroline Affair,” where the King had arguably used extralegal methods and the clergy to rid himself of his consort.

“A Late Arrival At Mother Wood's.” Pub.d June 19, 1820 by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James Street. Hand-colored etching.

Attributed to Robert Cruikshank, depicting Queen Caroline’s arrival at Wood's house on 6 June 1820, on her triumphant return from exile for her much disputed and ultimately barred coronation as queen to King George IV.

“The Genius of History, or Dressing for a Mask’d Ball at Naples.” Pubd October 1820, by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James St., signed at bottom “Selim sc.” Hand-colored etching.

The Princess of Wales, preening before a large glass with her Italian lover Bergami attending her. Vesuvius can be seen through the window. Attributed to Theodore Lane who often used the pseudonym Selim. Lane, a talented young satirist, died in a tragic accident in 1828 at age 28.

1811-1820: Young George as Political Satirist; Social Satire: Lottery Puffs; Monstrosities, and the Drama of Queen Caroline