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At the Queen’s Gallery

Inigo Thomas: David Hockney

2 March 2017
... the next £20 note, he didn’t mention that Turner was a stock holder in the the Bank of England. Thomas Rowlandson was once a rake; in The Chamber of Genius he depicts a dishevelled artist at work at his easel in a chaotic room that is home to a wife, two children and their dog. Rowlandson died a rich man – it took ...
6 February 1986
Travels with a Superior Person 
by Lord Curzon, edited by Peter King.
Sidgwick, 191 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 283 99294 8
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The Ladies of Castlebrae 
by A. Whigham Price.
Alan Sutton, 242 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 228 1
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Lizzie: A Victorian Lady’s Amazon Adventure 
by Tony Morrison, Anne Brown and Ann Rose.
BBC, 160 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 0 563 20424 9
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Miss Fane in India 
by [author], edited by John Pemble.
Alan Sutton, 246 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 240 0
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Explorers Extraordinary 
by John Keay.
Murray/BBC Publications, 195 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 7195 4249 9
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A Visit to Germany, Italy and Malta 1840-41 
by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Grace Thornton.
Peter Owen, 182 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 7206 0636 5
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The Irish Sketch-Book 1842 
by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Blackstaff, 368 pp., £9.95, December 1985, 0 85640 340 7
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Mr Rowlandson’s England 
by Robert Southey, edited by John Steel.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 202 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 907462 77 4
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... is to be blamed for the steaming muck-heap under the tenant’s window. It is vigorous stuff. Mr Rowlandson’s England is a curious hybrid, confessedly executed with tongue in cheek. It has some two hundred and fifty illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson at his liveliest, ranging from the satirical to the rustic. The ...
6 March 2014
In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... trunked and bikinied masses. ‘Britannia Roused, or the Coalition Monsters Destroyed’ by Thomas Rowlandson (1784). In the election of October 1974, Wilson got a bare majority, with 319 seats, but still lacked a clear mandate. Yet the country, it turned out, was less divided than it appeared. In 1975 there was a referendum on continuing ...

Into the Gulf

Rosemary Hill

17 December 1992
A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 
by Alethea Hayter.
Robin Clark, 224 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 0 86072 146 9
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Painting and the Politics of Culture: New Essays on British Art 1700-1850 
edited by John Barrell.
Oxford, 301 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198173922
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London: World City 1800-1840 
edited by Celina Fox.
Yale, 624 pp., £45, September 1992, 0 300 05284 7
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... of London, of which Pyne wrote part, was dominated by the illustrations of A.C. Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson. In so far as it has an authorial voice it is that of the publisher Rudolph Ackermann among whose many inventions The Microcosm could also be counted as the first coffee-table book, published from 1808 to 1810 for a polite but not ...

A Keen Demand for Camberwells

Rosemary Hill: Location, Location, Location

21 March 2019
Marketable Values: Inventing the Property Market in Modern Britain 
by Desmond Fitz-Gibbon.
Chicago, 240 pp., £79, January 2019, 978 0 226 58416 4
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... survey, The Microcosm of London, includes a scene at Christie’s, illustrated by A.C. Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, which shows the saleroom thronged with people of all sorts and classes, most of them taking no part in the sale, having come principally to see, be seen, or get out of the cold. Private auction houses were now responsible for more than 90 ...

The Devil upon Two Sticks

Charles Nicholl: Samuel Foote

23 May 2013
Mr Foote’s Other Leg: Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian London 
by Ian Kelly.
Picador, 462 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 330 51783 6
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... gown, his nice gait on his pantofles, or the affected accent of his speech but they personated,’ Thomas Nashe said of the portrayal of the Cambridge don Gabriel Harvey in Edward Forsett’s comedy Pedantius, which was performed in 1581. The last decade of Foote’s life was shadowed with ill-fortune, or perhaps rather with the ill effects of some spectacular ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Van Dyck’s Portraits

12 March 2009
... to celebrate the fact that he was the first English nobleman to tour the Far East. Paintings of Thomas Wentworth and Archbishop Laud, men who had risen to power, show expressions closer to those of Holbein’s portraits of Henry VIII’s functionaries. Laud (the son of a Reading cloth merchant and, like the king, a short man) looks at the painter with ...

How They Brought the Good News

Colin Kidd: Britain’s Napoleonic Wars

20 November 2014
In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon’s Wars, 1793-1815 
by Jenny Uglow.
Faber, 739 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 571 26952 5
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... narrative. She summons back into the annals of the wars the ‘taciturn’ figures the composer Thomas Haswell remembered on the Tyneside of his youth: ‘the sea-dogs of Camperdown, of the Nile, of Trafalgar … in every state of picturesque dismemberment – one arm, one leg, one arm and one leg, or a mere trunk with neither arms nor legs’. Uglow ...

Hit and Muss

John Campbell

23 January 1986
David Low 
by Colin Seymour-Ure and Jim Schoff.
Secker, 180 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 9780436447556
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... acuity and wit but his drawings are much slighter and his characterisation thinner than Low’s. Rowlandson and Gillray operated in a different world. As a daily cartoonist Low is unchallenged and, one suspects, in modern newspapers unchallengeable. What are the qualities that make him the greatest? First, the quality of his drawing; second, his sense of ...
20 March 1986
C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist 
by Alan Crawford.
Yale, 500 pp., £35, November 1985, 0 300 03467 9
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The Laughter and the Urn: The Life of Rex Whistler 
by Laurence Whistler.
Weidenfeld, 321 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 297 78603 2
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The Originality of Thomas Jones 
by Lawrence Gowing.
Thames and Hudson, 64 pp., £4.95, February 1986, 0 500 55017 4
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Art beyond the Gallery in Early 20th-century England 
by Richard Cork.
Yale, 332 pp., £40, April 1985, 0 300 03236 6
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Alfred Gilbert 
by Richard Dorment.
Yale, 350 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 300 03388 5
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... anyone any longer cared to try for this sort of thing. Lawrence Gowing, writing of a painting by Thomas Jones who was in Rome a century and a half earlier, explains: ‘The normal way of gathering information about nature is in a drawing, but this oil sketch is nothing like a drawing. It is based not on line but on solid colour matched in value and hue to ...

Woman in Love

Brigid Brophy

7 February 1985
The Life of Jane Austen 
by John Halperin.
Harvester, 400 pp., December 1984, 0 7108 0518 7
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... land of contrasts. He introduces readers to the age Jane Austen was born into: ‘The age of Rowlandson and the age of Gainsborough’, an age of ‘militant patriotism’ and of ‘laxity and licence’, etc, etc. It is no doubt this rubbish that makes the blurb feel entitled to speak of Professor Halperin’s ‘command of the contemporary ...
20 March 1986
The English Satirical Print 1600-1832 
edited by Michael Duffy.
Chadwyck-Healey, February 1986
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... that presents a curious paradox. We recognise its greatness, hail its geniuses such as Gillray and Rowlandson, and can call to mind the score or so of the most famous endlessly reproduced in history books. Yet no one beyond the heroic band of cognoscenti who have buried themselves for years in the British Museum has ever seen more than the tiniest fraction of ...

Let us breakfast in splendour

Charles Nicholl: Francis Barber

15 July 2015
The Fortunes of Francis Barber: The True Story of the Jamaican Slave Who Became Samuel Johnson’s Heir 
by Michael Bundock.
Yale, 282 pp., £20, May 2015, 978 0 300 20710 1
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... Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, Pasquale Paoli, Charles Burney, Thomas Warton and Oliver Goldsmith. Their names appear below the image, cursively engraved, appositely placed: one might almost be looking at a signed group photograph of 18th-century luminaries. In fact the picture is Victorian, painted in about 1845, but the ...

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