Bookham and District U3A
Bookham and District University of the Third Age
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DateEvent
18 May 2018HOAXES, MAGIC, CARTOONS & SATIRE
15 June 2018PREHISTORIC BRITAIN NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT OUR ANCIENT PAST

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HOAXES, MAGIC, CARTOONS & SATIRE
Ian Keable
Friday 18 May 2018

The golden age of political satirical art was from 1780 to 1820 and the two leading proponents were James Gillray (1756-1815) and George Cruikshank (1792-1878). The lives and works of these two masters are covered in this study day.

An event that was incorporated into one of their works by both of these men was the Bottle Conjurer Hoax that took place in 1749. It is an amusing episode that throws light on the gullibility of 18th century theatrical audiences; as well as demonstrating the versatility of Gillray and Cruikshank in using such incidents to enhance the comedy in their prints.

From 1820 onwards, satirical art began to disappear and Cruikshank had to reinvent himself as an illustrator of books - most notably with Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. For the final talk, a lesser known skill of Dickens is considered: for a period in the 1840s he was an amateur conjurer.

The day will finish with a suitable flourish with a couple of Dickensian magic tricks. 

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