Internal and External Others: French, Female, and Black Bodies in British Satirical Prints, 1789-1821 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Wellington, Alexandra M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History
  • From the onset of the French Revolution to the death of Napoleon I (1789-1821), Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and George Cruikshank created political prints satirizing the rapid turn of events in France. Their works, which cast France as Britain's supreme Other, were immensely popular and circulated widely in journals and newspapers in London as well as in the distant regions of the British Empire. In this thesis, I analyze the ways in which prints satirizing French politics and manners simultaneously address issues current in Great Britain, especially the increasing political activity of British women and the threat of slave uprisings in Britain's West Indian colonies. I argue that the grouping together of Britain's external Other, France, with Britain's internal Others, women and enslaved blacks, complicated satirical imagery during this period and enhanced the power of political prints by provoking and contributing to debates on issues abroad and at home. Through my discussion of their historical context, imagery, and circulation, I reveal that satirical prints were crucial to the development of Britain's national identity during this formative period.
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  • In Copyright
  • Sheriff, Mary D.
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2013

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