Week 25: The Royal Brat

Picking your teeth with a fork is always a sign of class.
Picking your teeth with a fork is always a sign of class.

This Thursday I am heading to Hanover for the Herrenhäusen Symposium “Loyal Subversion – Caricatures from the Personal Union between England and Hanover 1714-1837”. Speakers include Timothy Clayton, Ian Haywood, Brian Maidment and Sheila O’Connell. The programme for the three days can be found here.

Aside from visiting Hanover for the first time, I’m thoroughly looking forward to speaking alongside scholars whose work has shaped our understanding of the Georgian satirical print. My contribution, a paper entitled ‘The Royal Brat: Making Fun of George Augustus Frederick‘, explores a selection of satirical prints which looked unfavourably upon the notorious behaviour of the Prince of Wales during the 1790s. The twist is that I do so through the lens of how these satirical prints were made, how the processes of making and selling shaped and constrained the comic content that Georgian Londoners could buy: particularly those who frequented Samuel Fores’ shop on Piccadilly. The point is that satirical prints were time-consuming and costly to make, with a limited window for both sale and exploitation: for example the copper plates on which designs were engraved and/or etched were limited to circa 500 impressions. To maximise profits then, those who published and sold satirical prints had to judge carefully – as one would expect of any good businessman or woman – what the market wanted, and in doing so would hedge often their bets: preferring prints which titillated without alienating, attacked without appearing crude, censored without coming across as righteous. One false move and a print publisher could alienate a range of both existing and potential customers. Making fun of George Augustus Frederick [get it?] was a delicate business.

Click the picture to view the Prezi.
Click the picture to view the Prezi.

The third Herrenhausen Symposium “Loyal Subversion – Caricatures from the Personal Union between England and Hanover 1714-1837” is organized by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Wilhelm Busch – Deutsches Museum für Karikatur und Zeichenkunst. It runs from Thursday 21 February to Saturday 23 February 2013.

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