Catalogue

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Defining John Bull : political caricature and national identity in late Georgian England /
Tamara L. Hunt.
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT. : Ashgate, c2003.
description
xii, 452 p. : ill.
ISBN
1840142685
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT. : Ashgate, c2003.
isbn
1840142685
catalogue key
4969908
 
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Tamara L. Hunt is associate professor of history and department chair at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-05-01:
As Hunt (Univ. of Southern Indiana) makes clear in her compendious study, caricature was a vital component of political culture in late Georgian England. It both mirrored and arguably influenced debate on a host of contentious issues: the Wilkes controversy; the Regency crisis; the claims of religious dissenters; the domestic implications of the French Revolution; the emergence of plebeian radicalism; and the attributes of royalty. Though some prints were directed at elites, the images of cartoons were accessible across a wide social range, including the illiterate. By adopting images with potent symbolic impact, the caricaturists were able to break the shackles of traditional political discourse. The figure of John Bull was central in this process, displacing Britannia as the embodiment of the English people. Patriotic to the point of xenophobia, sometimes doltish but invariably courageous, he became the counterpoint to slick politicians and Francophile radicals. His afflictions and struggles were those of the country itself during a period of wrenching challenges. The book is amply illustrated, although a magnifying glass is an essential accessory for examining its reproductions. The text is sometimes laborious, which limits the book's accessibility. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. Sainsbury Brock University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
During the late Georgian period the unwritten constitution upon which the British had placed their faith seemed to be under strain. The author explores unrest, dissent and national identity during that period as it was conveyed to the public by means of cartoons, caricatures and other related devices.
Long Description
Late Georgian England was a period of great social and political change, yet whether this was for good or for ill was by no means clear to many Britons. In such an era of innovation and revolution, Britons faced the task of deciding which ideals, goals and attitudes most closely fitted their own conception of the nation for which they struggled and fought; the controversies of the era thus forced ordinary people to define an identity that they believed embodied the ideal of 'Britishness' to which they could adhere in this period of uncertainty.Defining John Bull demonstrates that caricature played a vital role in this redefinition of what it meant to be British. During the reign of George III, the public's increasing interest in political controversies meant that satirists turned their attention to the individuals and issues involved. Since this long reign was marked by political crises, both foreign and domestic, caricaturists responded with an outpouring of work that led the era to be called the 'golden age' of caricature. Thus, many and varied prints, produced in response to public demands and sensitive to public attitudes, provide more than simply a record of what interested Britons during the late Georgian era.In the face of domestic and foreign challenges that threatened to shake the very foundations of existing social and political structures, the public struggled to identify those ideals, qualities and characteristics that seemed to form the basis of British society and culture, and that were the bedrock upon which the British polity rested. During the course of this debate, the iconography used to depict it in graphic satire changed to reflect shifts in or the redefinition of existing ideals. Thus, caricature produced during the reign of George III came to visually express new concepts of Britishness.
Main Description
Defining John Bull demonstrates that caricature played a vital role in the redefinition of what it meant to be British. The public's increasing interest in political controversies meant that satirists turned their attention to individuals and the issues involved. This long reign was marked by political crises, both foreign and domestic and caricaturists responded with an outpouring of work that led the era to be called the 'golden age' of caricature. These multitudinous prints, produced in response to public demands and sensitive to public attitudes, indicate the redefinition of existing ideals.
Short Annotation
During the late Georgian period the unwritten constitution upon which the British had placed their faith seemed to be under strain.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vi
List of Illustrationsp. viii
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Caricature and the British Publicp. 1
Caricature and the Constitution, c. 1760-1788p. 23
Dissenters, Levellers and Revolutionariesp. 68
Britannia, John Bull and National Identityp. 121
The Rights of Englishmenp. 170
Majesty, Morality and the Monarchyp. 230
Caricatures and the British Polityp. 292
Notesp. 311
Works Consultedp. 402
Index of Caricaturesp. 426
Indexp. 438
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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