Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library

William Hone and George Cruikshank, The Political Showman – At Home! April 1821
Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of George IV, had been living in exile on the continent since 1814. On George’s accession in January 1820, she returned to England to claim the throne as his consort. This prompted a trial before the House of Lords to institute divorce proceedings on grounds of adultery. In the face of George’s unpopularity, Caroline was championed by London radicals, including William Hone. In Cruikshank’s image, Liberty displays Caroline’s image atop a printing press, a symbol of freedom that triumphs against the queen’s establishment enemies. Caroline lost her trial, however, and was excluded from George’s coronation in July 1821. She died three weeks later.

Political Showman at Home
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Last modified February 22, 2010 11:30:41 PM EST