George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art: 1792-1835

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Rutgers University Press, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 495 pages
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"Patten consistently manages with great deftness to intertwine the personal and the historical, the strands of Cruikshank's life and those of his caricatures, illustrations, and moralities without a sign of jargon or pedantry. . . . This is a monumental life and works."--Ronald Paulson, The Johns Hopkins University

"At last, an authoritative, exhaustively researched biography of one of nineteenth-century England's greatest popular artists! It will rescue him from the biographical obscurity in which he has dwelt and inspire a fresh estimate of his achievement as a rough-and-tumble caricaturist and prolific book illustrator."--Richard D. Altick, Ohio State University

The etchings and wood engravings by George Cruikshank (1792-1878) recorded, commented on, and satirized his times to such an extent that they have been frequently used to represent the age. Cruikshank, a popular artist in the propaganda war against Napoleon, an ardent campaigner for Reform and Temperance, and the foremost illustrator of such classics as Grimms' Fairy Tales, Scott's novels, and Dickens's Oliver Twist, is known for his versatility, imagination, humor, and incisive images. His long life, marked by a ceaseless struggle to win recognition for his art, intersected with many of Britain's important political, social, and cultural leaders.

Robert Patten provides the first documentary biography of Cruikshank. In this first volume of a two-volume work, which covers the artist's Regency caricatures and early book illustrations, Patten demonstrates the ways that Cruikshank was, as his contemporaries frequently declared, the Hogarth of the nineteenth century. Having reviewed over 8,500 unpublished letters and most of Cruikshank's 12,000 or more printed images, Patten gives a thorough and reliable account of the artist's career. He puts Cruikshank's achievement into a variety of larger contexts--publishing history, political and cultural history, the traditions of figurations practiced by Cruikshank's contemporaries, and the literary and social productions of nineteenth-century Britain.

Published to coincide with the Fall 1992 bicentennial celebrations of the artist's birth, this biography provides both the general reader and the specialist with a wealth of new information conveyed in a lively, non-technical prose. Patten's book contributes to current investigation of the rich interactions between high art and low art, texts and pictures, politics and imagination.

 

 

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Contents

PROLOGUE
1
CRADLED IN CARICATURE 17921820
9
ALL MY RELATIVES WERE SCOTS
19
A NAUGHTY BOY
26
A PICTURE OF LIFE
38
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR PELVIS IS WRONG?
47
GEORGE CRUIKSHANK INVENIT
69
TOO MUCH FUN OF TOO MANY THINGS
90
A SKETCHING DANTE
256
TO WORKWITH A WILL
277
A WORK BEGUN IN SADNESS
291
IN DESTRUCTIBLE AS PUNCH
307
THUMBNAIL DESIGNS
325
AN AVERAGEEUROPEAN STYLE
340
DRAWING IN ALBUMS
355
PRINCE OF HUMOROUS DESIGNERS
374

THE PURSUIT AND TORMENT OF LITTLE BONEY
108
THE TRIALS OF WILLIAM HONE
121
THE MOST IMPORTANT DESIGN I EVER MADE
140
THE DAN DY OF SIXTY
150
A VERY TAR IN ART
187
THE FINEST THINGS NEXT TO REMBRANDTS
207
EPIGRAMS OF DESIGN
221
A THOROUGHBRED ARTIST
232
THE ARCH AND ABLE PENCIL
390
Genealogies
405
Concerning Transcriptions and References
409
Notes
415
General Index
477
Index oCruikshanks Works
490
Copyright

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Stephen Prickett
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About the author (1992)

Robert L. Patten is Lynette S. Autrey Professor in Humanities at Rice University.

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