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Representations of France and the French in English satirical prints, c. 1740-1832

Moores, John Richard (2011) Representations of France and the French in English satirical prints, c. 1740-1832. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis explores representations of France and the French in English satirical prints in the period c. 1740-1832. This was an era of rivalry and conflict between the two nations. It has been suggested that hostility towards France at this time contributed to the formation of English, or British, national identity. This coincided with England’s ‘golden age of caricature’. While much of the satirical art produced focussed on France, most studies of this material have dealt with how the English portrayed themselves and each other. Those which have discussed representations of the French have promoted the view that English perceptions of the French were principally hostile. While there is a temptation to employ such prints as evidence of English Francophobia, a closer investigation reveals greater satirical complexities at work which do not simply conceptualise and employ the French ‘Other’ as target of hatred. Informed by war and rivalry, as well as by trade, travel, and cultural exchange, the prints projected some positive characteristics onto the French ‘Other’, they contain varying degrees of sympathy and affinity with the French, and are demonstrative of a relationship more distinct and intimate than that shared with any other nation. At the same time, the prints expose many of the tensions and divisions that existed within Britain itself. French characters were employed to directly attack British political figures, while in other instances domestic anxieties were projected onto images of the French.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: satirical prints, national identity, the 'Other', stereotyping, Anglo-French relations
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: John Richard Moores
Date Deposited: 16 May 2012 09:05
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2347

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