In conversation with… Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop, satirist, broadcaster, historian, and editor of Private Eye, chats to Roehampton’s Dr Mary L. Shannon about his new radio play ‘Trial by Laughter’ (co-written with Nick Newman) which dramatizes the trial of William Hone for libel in 1817, press freedom, and the importance of satirical images in the nineteenth century.

Click here to access the podcast and to get the full story.

Mary L. Shannon and Ian Hislop Private Eye

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CFP. Abusing Power: The Visual Politics of Satire

AbusingPowerAbusing Power: The Visual Politics of Satire
23rd Sep 2016 9:00am – 24th Sep 2016 6:00pm
Brighton Museum and Pavilion

A conference organised by the University of Brighton in association with the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum. Abstracts due: 9th May 2016 

 

http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/c21/events/events-calendar2/abusing-power-the-visual-politics-of-satire

Speakers include:

Steve Bell, political cartoonist
Martin Rowson, political cartoonist
Professor Ian Haywood, University of Roehampton
The Curator of the Cartoon Museum, London
The Curator of Fine Art at the Royal Pavilion Museums

In January 2015, 12 of France’s most familiar cartoonists were shot dead in Paris. The aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo raises significant questions about the status and the potential impact of an image and gives this conference a political urgency. The events in Paris underline both the power of the political cartoonist and the dangers of causing offence to political and religious sensibilities.

In 1820, George Cruikshank and his brother Robert were summoned to Brighton Pavilion by George IV, in an attempt to buy them off from reproducing their salacious satirical cartoons. They were paid off, but continued to produce scurrilous images of the royal family and political figures. The Royal Pavilion now houses one of the best collections of Cruikshank, Hogarth and Gillray in the world, three of the most eminent caricaturists in visual history.

The city of Brighton and the University have a long history of association with cartoon and caricature. This conference offers the opportunity to celebrate the rich history of caricature and cartoons associated with Brighton and to address the important ethical questions that now confront the contemporary cartoonist. It celebrates the rich collections of Cruikshank, Gillray and Hogarth at the Brighton Pavilion and brings together the expertise of practitioners, curators, academic historians and cultural analysts. The conference draws upon the research expertise of the University, on the curatorial experience of museum staff and on cartoonists who currently practice.

This conference is organised by three research groupings from the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Brighton, the Centre for Applied Philosophy Politics and Ethics, the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories and C21: Research in Twenty-First Century Writings, which allows for the interdisciplinary focus that the subject merits.

We invite proposals (c300 words) for both papers and panels on topics which may include, but are not limited to:

Comedy and ethics – what are the responsibilities of a cartoonist? || The curation of cartoons – what should be kept? || How far can you go? Are there limits to what a cartoonist can lampoon? || The legacies of Cruikshank, Gillray and Hogarth || Religion and caricature || Representations of history through cartoon || The impact of caricature on popular ideas of politics || Celebrity and caricature || In what contexts does satire flourish and why? || Is satire necessary?

DEADLINE: Email your proposal and short bio to C21Writings@brighton.ac.uk by 9th May 2016 

Lewis Walpole Library New Exhibition: “James Gillray’s Hogarthian Progresses”

“James Gillray’s Hogarthian Progresses”

Exhibition on view April 6 – September 16

The Lewis Walpole Library

154 Main Street, Farmington, CT 06032

Sequential narration in satiric prints is most famously associated with the “modern moral subjects” of William Hogarth (1697–1764): Harlot’s Progress (1732), A Rake’s Progress (1735), Marriage A-la-Mode (1745), and Industry and Idleness (1747) among others. HP_publicity-images_enews-lg-1Less well-known is the broad spectrum of legacy “progresses” produced by subsequent generations drawing both on Hogarth’s narrative strategies and his iconic motifs. James Gillray (1756–1815), celebrated for his innovative single-plate satires, was also among the most accomplished printmakers to adopt Hogarthian sequential narration even as he transformed it according to his unique vision. This exhibition presents a number of Gillray’s Hogarthian progresses alongside some selected prints by Hogarth himself.

Curated by Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, The Lewis Walpole Library.

Exhibition open Wednesdays, 2-4:30 pm, and by appointment

Further information about the exhibition and associated programming

Hone and Cruikshank: BBC Radio 4 Drama by Ian Hislop ‘Trial by Laughter’ now on iplayer

The Gamecock of Guildhall

BBC Radio 4 drama ‘Trial by Laughter’ is now available on iplayer for just over 20 days.

Written by Ian Hislop (the editor of Private Eye and a team captain on ‘Have I got News for You’) and his long-term collaborator Nick Newman (a satirical cartoonist for The Sunday Times and Private Eye), ‘Trial by Laughter’ is a  comedy drama based on the real transcripts of the trial of William Hone in 1817.

William Hone is the forgotten hero of free speech in Britain. He was a bookseller, publisher, printshop-owner and satirist – George Cruikshank was his friend and collaborator . In 1817, he stood trial for ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. His crime was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy.

Original music by Conrad Nelson
Director/Producer Gary Brown

For clips, the cast list, and background information on the trial, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071h2x6.

Click here to read Nick Newman’s article on Cruikshank and Hone for the BBC website.

For information on the William Hone collection at Adelphi University, USA, see http://libraries.adelphi.edu/archives-and-special-collections/special-collectionsfinding-aids/hone-collection/.

British Museum: Napoleon Exhibition and Events

Napoleon caricature BM
©The Trustees of the British Museum

Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon

5 February – 16 August 2015

Venue: British Museum
Entry: Free
Address: Great Russell Street, London, Greater London, England. WC1B 3DG

This exhibition will focus on the printed propaganda that either reviled or glorified Napoleon Bonaparte, on both sides of the English Channel. It explores how his formidable career coincided with the peak of political satire as an art form. 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – the final undoing of brilliant French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). The exhibition will include works by British and French satirists who were inspired by political and military tensions to exploit a new visual language combining caricature and traditional satire with the vigorous narrative introduced by Hogarth earlier in the century. This exhibition includes work by James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, Richard Newton and George Cruikshank.

Download a list of exhibition-related events at the British Museum here.

 

Image of the Month: Mutual undermining by “Boz” and Cruikshank?

Mutual undermining by “Boz” and Cruikshank?

Helen-Frances Pilkington (Birkbeck)

Mary L. Shannon’s paper, at the recent The Artist and the Writer RIN symposium, discussed how Dickens, in the guise of “Boz”, had used Cruikshank’s established visual persona to bolster his own. This led me to think about another “Boz” – Cruikshank relationship from August 1838 in Bentley’s Miscellany, where they had engaged in some mutual under-mining. The sketch in question was the ‘Full Report of the Second Meeting of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything’ which was ‘illustrated by George Cruikshank’.

Within this article is a discussion on the local beadle. “Boz” was given the chance to state his case first. Mr Sowster, the reader is informed, was a ‘fat man, with a more enlarged development of that peculiar conformation of countenance which is vulgarly termed a double chin.’ After some ‘unconstitutional proceedings’ in which Mr Sowster was employed as a bouncer for the Mudfog meeting, “Boz” announced that he had ‘procured a local artist to make a faithful sketch of the tyrant Sowster’. This likeness was ‘from the life, and complete in every respect. Even if I had been totally ignorant of the man’s real character, and had it been placed before me without remark, I should have shuddered involuntarily. There is an intense malignity of expression in the features, and a baleful ferocity of purpose in the ruffian’s eye, which appals and sickens. His whole air is rampant with cruelty, nor is the stomach less characteristic of his demoniac propensities.’ Such a description evokes terror, potentially comic, especially when considering the satirical trope of beadles.

As noted by Sally Ledger, one of the prototypes for Mr Bumble, the beadle in Oliver Twist (1837-1838), was Robert Seymour’s 1830 engraving ‘Heaven and Earth’ in which a beadle, in a cocked hat, flowing robes and staff, descends from the clouds to deny relief to starving paupers (Figure 1: bottom centre).

Figure 1: Robert Seymour, ‘Heaven & Earth’, 1830 © British Museum

Ledger noted that ‘this image of the Beadle as a pompously attired, self-important petty official that established a satirical genealogy upon which Dickens and Cruikshank would together build a few years later in Sketches by Boz and Oliver Twist‘. Given the “Boz”-ian text, the date and the article title proclaiming the Cruikshank illustrations, the expectation for the first readers would have been a continuation of this trope. However, the ‘faithful’ sketch by the ‘local artist’ in Bentley’s Miscellany turned out to be quite different (Figure 2):

Figure 2: George Cruikshank, 'The Tyrant Sowster', Bentley's Miscellany (1838) © Victoria and Albert Museum

Figure 2: George Cruikshank, ‘The Tyrant Sowster’, Bentley’s Miscellany (1838) © Victoria and Albert Museum

In Figure 2, Cruikshank has depicted Sowster as a benignly comic figure, all double-chin and belly with little arms and legs attached, rather than the ferocious tyrant per “Boz’s” description or the pompous petty official of the satirical stereotype. So who is right? Is the ‘local artist’ incapable of accurate sketching or has “Boz” been carried away by his rhetoric?

Helen-Frances Pilkington (Birkbeck)

Helen-Frances is a PhD student at Birkbeck focusing on hot air balloons and railways in the early nineteenth century

Sources:

Dickens, Charles; ‘The Second Report of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything’; Bentley’s Miscellany; 4; (August 1838); 209-227.

Ledger, Sally; ‘From Queen Caroline to Lady Deadlock: Dickens and the Popular Radical Imagination’; Victorian Literature and Culture; 32; (2004); 575-600.

New Resource Added: Illustrated Satirical Pamphlets of the Queen Caroline Affair

RIN member Mathew Crowther asks me to alert network members to the fact that he has created a small digital archive of material which is freely available via his wonderful blog, https://theprintshopwindow.wordpress.com.

It contains copies of the illustrated portions of some of the rarer satirical pamphlets in his collection which were published during the Queen Caroline affair of 1820-1. A number of these items are not even listed on COPAC, so it is very likely that this is the only online archive of such material.

Find it at:

https://theprintshopwindow.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/the-print-shop-window-archive-of-satirical-pamphlets/

Radical Papers