The political satirical print enjoyed its heyday during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and was the predecessor of modern newspaper cartoons. Their power lies in the startling combination of draughtsmanship, merciless humour and often disturbing insights into social and political scenarios. To mark the three-hundred year anniversary of the formation of the United Kingdom (finalised by the Act of Union in 1707) this book presents a selection of works from the Museum’s 20,000-work collection of satirical and political prints. The thematic exploration of caricatures and stereotypes of (and by) the differing UK countries showcases some of the best comic moments in cartooning. It reveals the differing attitudes that the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish have held towards one another over the centuries. Popular artists such as Gillray, Rowlandson and Scarfe all have contributions to make on this fascinating theme. The resulting giftbook brilliantly highlights attitudes and events in British history while introducing the best of this much-loved and enduring genre.
12th January 2015