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James Gillray Cartoons

Valley of the Shadow of Death

A Pig in a Poke

Bank Notes

Pacific Overtures

Tiddy - Doll

A Great Stream


Pacific-Overtures, – or – a Flight from St. CLOUD’S

– “over the Water to Charley.”

a new Dramatic Peace now Rehearsing.

A hand colored copper plate engraving, by James Gillray, first published by Hannah Humphrey in 1806. This image issued by Henry G. Bohn in 1847-1851 as part of The Works of James Gillray from the Original Plates with the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected.

In the guise of an elaborate theatrical performance, Gillray visualizes Fox’s peace negotiations with Napoleon, which he indicts as Jacobin treachery. The leading actors are a bemused, but not cowed, George III, and a belligerent Napoleon, who grandly gestures to a scroll, unfurled by Talleyrand, containing his outrageous peace demands. Talleyrand stands on a cornucopia, from which pours subversive literature and references to radical organizations: “Address to the Papists”; “London Corresponding Society”; “United Irishmen.” Skeletal French grenadiers, leading banners of English, Irish, and Scottish armies, stand at attention, while the Irish radical Arthur O’Connor, his finger conspiratorially pressed against his nose, reminds the Whigs of their (unwitting) collusion in his treachery. Gillray suggests that each member of the new “Broad-bottom” Ministry “orchestra” plays a different tune, but the audience, nevertheless, enjoys the show. The Prince’s brother, the Duke of Clarence (later William IV) and his paramour, the actress Mrs. Jordan, sit in the top balcony, while the radicals Horne Tooke and Sir Francis Burdett, seated above the Lord Derby and Mrs. Fitzherbert, applaud Napoleon and Talleyrand.

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