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City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London
 
 
Author
Vic Gatrell.
Publisher Atlantic Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
ISBN 9781843543220
Pages/Publication Date 696/2007
Daedalus Item Code 30681
This item is not available.
Description
"Londoners of the late Georgian and Regency periods stoked a commercial boom in printed illustrations; 20,000 were published between 1770 and 1830, reports social historian [Vic] Gatrell. The view they open to the riots of the populace and the roistering of the libertines renders an incomparable depiction of the city, reflected in some 300 graphics reproduced here. What Londoners found funny is the goal of Gatrell's thematic analysis of the images, which he buttresses with explanations of a scandal, a political figure, or features of society, such as prostitutes or clubs, that inspired particular images. It seems Londoners couldn't laugh enough over bodily functions, fornication, and drunken regurgitation, which became stock props for the illustrators. Successful illustrators such as James Gillray are the subjects of biographical sketches and critical appraisals, in which Gatrell tracks their success in caricaturing changing tastes. By 1820, this satirical genre was receding before the advancing middle class' values of respectability and sobriety. Capitalizing marvelously on an era's body of illustrations, Gatrell will captivate students of social history and fans of Peter Ackroyd's London."Booklist
 
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