Comedy, caricature and the social order, 1820–50

By Brian Maidment

Comedy, caricature and the social order, 1820–50

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7526-1
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: February 2013
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Social History, Art History


Offering an overview of the marketplace for comic images between 1820 and 1850, this book makes a case for the interest and importance of a largely neglected area of visual culture. It considers the impact on the development of print culture of the emergent, but soon widespread, use of lithography and wood engraving, both capable of integrating texts and images cheaply and imaginatively on the printed page. Drawing on a wide range of commercially produced print genres, including song books, play-texts, comic annuals and magazines as well as single plate and series of caricatures, this book traces the ways in which Regency and early Victorian visual humour both sustains some of the characteristics of an earlier caricature tradition while also beginning to develop new ways of analyzing and coping with social change through comic forms and genres.


Brian Maidment is Professor of English at the University of Salford



January Colby Prize


Part 1 - Regency and early Victorian graphic humour: Modes and markets.
1. 'Graphic bric-a-brac'? Approaching early nineteenth-century graphic humour
2. Regency visual culture in the market place
3. Continuity, change and innovation in Regency and early Victorian comic print culture.
Part 2 - The social vision of Regency and early Victorian comic visual culture
4. Reflections in a print shop window - the politics of the public image
5. Robert Seymour: A jobbing artist in the market place
6. The 'march of intellect' as a comic event: Mockery, heroism and social change
7. Revisiting the Regency: Punch's dustmen

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