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Friday, June 1

James Gillray, Political Satirist

One of the top, most ruthless caricaturists in Jane Austen's day was James Gillray, whose biting political cartoons still define the Georgian and Regency periods. Unusual for an artist of his stature, he engraved the cartoons himself, such as the one above entitled, "Following the Fashion," 1794. Although his observations were often times unflattering, this caricaturist was much admired, and his illustrations sold well in a shop on St. James Street, even attracting The Prince Regent's patronage. Toward the end of his life, Gillray began to lose his sight. He died in 1815, an alcoholic and insane.

Click here to hear an extremely informative 27-minute discussion on BBC radio about the cartoonist. From this discussion you get a good sense of the era, and the printing and publishing business.

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