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Title: Graphic satire and the rise and fall of the First British Empire : political prints from the Seven Years' War to the Treaty of Paris, c. 1756-1783
Author: Karhapää, Henna Veera
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 3002
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the early stages of the transformation of emblematic political prints into political caricature from the beginning of the Seven Years' War (1756) to the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War (1783). Both contextual and iconographical issues are investigated in relation to the debates occasioned by Britain's imperial project, which marked a period of dramatic expansion during the Seven Years' War, and ended with the loss of the American colonies, consequently framing this thesis as a study of political prints during the rise and fall of the so-called 'First British Empire'. Previous studies of eighteenth-century political prints have largely ignored the complex and lengthy evolutionary process by which the emblematic mode amalgamated with caricatural representation, and have consequently concluded that political prints excluded emblems entirely by the end of the 1770s. However, this study emphasizes the significance of the Wilkite movement for the promotion and preservation of emblems, and investigates how pictorial political argument was perceived and received in eighteenth-century British society, arguing that wider tastes and opinions regarding the utilization of political prints gradually shifted to accept both modes of representation. Moreover, the marketplace, legal status, topicality, and manufacturing methods of political prints are analyzed in terms of understanding the precarious nature of their consumption and those that endeavoured to engage in political printmaking. The evolution, establishment, and subsequent appropriation of pictorial tropes is discussed from the early modern period to the beginning of the so-called Golden Age of caricature, while tracing the adaptation of representational models in American colonial prints that employed emblems already entrenched in British pictorial political debate. Political prints from the two largest print collections, the British Museum and the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale are consulted, along with a number of eighteenth-century newspapers and periodicals, to develop the earlier research by M. Dorothy George, Charles Press, Herbert Atherton, Diana Donald, Amelia Rauser, and Eirwen Nicholson.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; E151 United States (General) ; NE Print media