Edmund Burke: A Life in Caricature

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Yale University Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 214 pages
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For more than thirty years until his death in 1797, the statesman and writer Edmund Burke was a powerful and passionate voice on the great political issues of late eighteenth-century Britain. The broad range of his interests, as well as his Irish origins and his Catholic connections, made Burke a favorite target of such vitriolic and sometimes scurrilous caricaturists as Gillray, Rowlandson, Dent, and Sayers. This book follows and sheds new light on Burke's political, literary, and personal life by examining a wide selection of the caricatures in which he was featured.

Nicholas Robinson puts the caricatures in context by reconstructing the day-to-day episodes of social and parliamentary activity and by reviewing the debates that took place about such issues as the influence of the Crown, relations with America, the governance of India, and the French Revolution. He shows how caricature was forged into a formidable political weapon, unravels the caricaturists' devices in representing the mannerisms and characteristics of Burke and his contemporaries, and investigates how Burke and other political figures, including Charles James Fox, William Pitt, George III, Lord North, and the Prince of Wales, fared as the subjects of the satirical prints. Robinson demonstrates that Catholic entryism, party politics, economic reform, aesthetics, good governance, the constitutional role of the monarch, the role and conduct of his heir, radicalism, and dissent were all treated pungently, facetiously, and often savagely in the prints. And from them emerges a fresh portrait of Burke as a person, statesman, intellectual, and man of honor.

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Edmund Burke: a life in caricature

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Robinson, a lawyer, architectural historian, and cartoonist, reviews the 18th-century political thinker Edmund Burke's career through his caricatures, which were full of a symbolism understood by his ... Read full review

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plagiarism on Burke's part, To Rowlandson. in a print after the Irish artist
John Nixon, (Plate 42) Fox, North and Burke are the plagues of England,

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About the author (1996)

Nicholas K. Robinson, who is a practicing lawyer, is also a cartoonist, an architectural historian who cofounded the Irish Architectural Archive, and the author of numerous books. He is the husband of Mary Robinson, President of Ireland.

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