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Hogarth’s French.

My book is concerned with the transmission of an influential body of visual work that crystallised in the eighteenth century and which helped to define the nation by making an externalised other exist visually. This ‘externalised other’ is the French. Where existing studies consider the French narrowly and within shorter periods of time, my approach is broad and inter-medial.

The book examines the intertwined relationship between satire, xenophobia and print culture in Britain in the eighteenth century, highlighting the central role of William Hogarth (1697-1764) who created some of the seminal xenophobic images of the period. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1: ‘Hogarth’s Inheritance’ highlights the important visual and textual legacies generated by war and migration in the late 17th century, in particular by the arrival of large numbers of Huguenot refugees. Part 2: ‘Hogarth’s French’ examines the extraordinary energy that was channelled into the invention, publication and circulation of French related xenophobic imagery in the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Part 3 ‘Hogarth’s Legacy’ explores the afterlives of what had become a highly diverse body of imagery.

In recovering the complex and cosmopolitan dimensions of ‘Hogarth’s French’ the book hopes to make an important contribution to existing scholarship which has traditionally homogenised French related satire to the activities of a few British-born artists, and precisely at those moments when this type of graphic production was displaying such diversity.

[Anon.], Crieur François [Louis XIV as a street crier], c.1680s
Thomas Rowlandson, A French Family, 1786

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Art historian of eighteenth century British art writing a book about depictions of the French in English graphic satire. Interested in art, satire, ethnicity and identity

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