Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal

Eighteenth-Century Fiction, a McMaster University journal

14 notes

I could easily fill this Tumblr with Hogarth engravings: so many of them are overflowing with narrative and brimming with sarcasm. I find them a great delight! The Company of Undertakers by William Hogarth (1697-1764) was issued in 1736. This early print is likely from the original engraving and is reproduced here courtesy of McMaster University Library. The people portrayed in this image are doctors and “quacks,” labelled “undertakers” based on the too-often result of their ministrations to those people suffering from illness. At the time this satirical illustration was created, the word “undertaker” carried the weight of several meanings (according to the Oxford English Dictionary), all reinforcing the irony of using it as a label for these “physicks” and doctors: “One who aids or assists; a helper.” “One who engages in the serious study of a subject or science.” “One who acts as security or surety for another.” as well as the funeral arranger.
For more on doctors, the practice of medicine, and funerals, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Last Rites, Last Rights: Corporeal Abjection as Autobiographical Performance in Suzanne Curchod Necker’s Des inhumations précipitées (1790)Author: Sonja Boon
The Body Inside the Skin: The Medical Model of Character in the Eighteenth-Century NovelAuthor: Juliet McMaster
Conversion, Seduction, and Medicine in Smollett’s Ferdinand Count FathomAuthor: John McAllister
Biography as Autopsy in William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’Author: Angela Monsam

I could easily fill this Tumblr with Hogarth engravings: so many of them are overflowing with narrative and brimming with sarcasm. I find them a great delight! The Company of Undertakers by William Hogarth (1697-1764) was issued in 1736. This early print is likely from the original engraving and is reproduced here courtesy of McMaster University Library. The people portrayed in this image are doctors and “quacks,” labelled “undertakers” based on the too-often result of their ministrations to those people suffering from illness. At the time this satirical illustration was created, the word “undertaker” carried the weight of several meanings (according to the Oxford English Dictionary), all reinforcing the irony of using it as a label for these “physicks” and doctors: “One who aids or assists; a helper.” “One who engages in the serious study of a subject or science.” “One who acts as security or surety for another.” as well as the funeral arranger.

For more on doctors, the practice of medicine, and funerals, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:

Last Rites, Last Rights: Corporeal Abjection as Autobiographical Performance in Suzanne Curchod Necker’s Des inhumations précipitées (1790)
Author: Sonja Boon

The Body Inside the Skin: The Medical Model of Character in the Eighteenth-Century Novel
Author: Juliet McMaster

Conversion, Seduction, and Medicine in Smollett’s Ferdinand Count Fathom
Author: John McAllister

Biography as Autopsy in William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’
Author: Angela Monsam

Filed under William Hogarth undertakers 18th-century engraving engravings etchings satire Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18th-century history medicine funerals medical history

  1. hyperboreanmanners reblogged this from eighteenthcenturyfiction
  2. madamescherzo reblogged this from eighteenthcenturyfiction
  3. charbookwyrm reblogged this from eighteenthcenturyfiction
  4. northernbriton reblogged this from eighteenthcenturyfiction
  5. joachimmurat reblogged this from eighteenthcenturyfiction
  6. eighteenthcenturyfiction posted this