James Gillray: the king of Georgian caricature

Two centuries after his death, James Gillray remains the undisputed king of caricature. Richard Gaunt reveals how Gillray turned his prints into potent political weapons...

'The Plum Pudding in Danger by James Gillray

This article was first published in the June 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine

Grotesque children eat human entrails to illustrate the horrors of the French Revolution; the heir to the throne picks his teeth after a meal, waistcoat buttons popping as his glutton’s stomach expands; while pointy-nosed prime minister William Pitt the Younger and a tiny, wild-eyed Napoleon carve up a plum pudding in the form of the globe. For the vicious satire of the 18th-century engraver James Gillray, no subject was off limits.

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