Cindy McCreery (2004) The Satirical Gaze: Prints of Women in Late Eighteenth-Century England
This is the first scholarly study to focus on satirical prints of women in the late eighteenth century. The period c.1760-1800 was the golden age of graphic satire: thousands of copper-plate engravings, humorous and/or critical in tone, were published. They were sold in London and the provinces and exported overseas, and were viewed by nearly all sections of the population.
These prints both reflected and sought to shape contemporary debate about the role of women in society. While attitudes varied considerably, the general consensus was that women were more visible in society than ever before – on the streets, on the stage, on the walls of the Royal Academy, on the hustings, and in the pleasure gardens. The satirical prints of the period reveal perceptions of women and their behaviour as prostitutes and courtesans, wives and mothers, old maids and widows. Cindy McCreery’s detailed exploration of this relatively neglected genre extends our knowledge of contemporary attitudes towards women and offers an important new dimension to our understanding of Georgian culture. [Publisher’s Description]