Posts tagged satire
Posts tagged satire
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:
Feminism or hooliganism? This image can inspire so many interpretations. I would rather stick with the most obvious reading: a bunch of people enjoying the snow. Except, the older fellow getting pelted with snowballs is definitely having no fun at that moment in this caricature. The January before this engraving was published in May 1794, Scotland suffered through an exceptional snowstorm that killed more than 1,800 sheep, several people, and many other animals. Perhaps the magnitude of that weather event stuck in the artist’s mind when he was drawing this satirical depiction of his “Old Buck,” in the balmy spring of 1794.
For more on feminism in eighteenth-century literature and culture, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Rereading the Patriarchal Text: The Female Quixote, Northanger Abbey, and the Trace of the Absent Mother
Theodicy versus Feminist Strategy in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Fiction
'Turning the World Upside Down': Madness, Moral Management, and Frances Burney's The Wanderer
"No place where women are of such importance": Female Friendship, Empire, and Utopia in The History of Emily Montague
The Political Novel and the Seduction Plot: Thomas Holcroft’s Anna St. Ives
Gothic Origins: New Primary Scholarship
"Fashion Police," the 1796-99 edition. Plate 122 from Joseph Strutt, A Complete View of the Dress and Habits of the People of England 2 vols. (London, 1796-99), pokes fun at women’s elaborate headdresses in previous centuries. [You must know that I’m actually posting this image for the harp-playing pig on stilts!]
For more on satire, fashion, and consumption, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles: