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The following sources are some of the more comprehensive works dealing with Cruikshank’s life.  Each text is useful for its own reason, whether it illustrates Cruikshank’s reception in the nineteenth century or at the end of the twentieth century. 


Bates, William.  George Cruikshank:  The Artist, the Humorist, and the Man, with Some Account of his Brother, Robert:  a Critcio-Biographical Essay.  Amsterdam: S. Emmering, 1972.

ART NC1479.C9 B3 1972

This is an “unchanged reprint of the original edition London 1879.”  It was originally published one year after Cruikshank’s death and gives a good account of how scholars perceived him during his lifetime.  Apparently it was pretty good, as he is compared directly with the great English artist Hogarth.  The work also includes an annotated bibliography of works published about Cruikshank during his lifetime.


Chesson, W.H.  George Cruikshank. London: Duckworth & Co., 1908.

            DAVIS NC1479.C9 C5

This work was published 30 years after Cruikshank’s death as part of the Popular Library of Art series.  It is clearly and succinctly written.  Other biographies may at times be more thorough than this one, but it is still useful and interesting to see how he was viewed in London after his death.


Evans, Hilary and Mary.  The Life and Art of George Cruikshank, 1792-1878: The Man who Drew The Drunkard’s Daughter.  New York, S. G. Phillips, Inc., 1978.

ART NC1479.C9 E82

This work is clearly written and includes a lot of black and white illustrations.  It is divided clearly into many short sections, each focusing on a particular period or theme in his life or career.  This work is a good source for either reading completely or browsing through particular sections, which are clearly indicated in with bold sub-titles.


The Illuminator.  New York: University Club Library, February 1990.

            RBC Z664.U5 I4

The Illuminator is an irregularly published journal from the University Club Library in New York City.  The February 1990 issue is devoted entirely to George Cruikshank.  It includes several pertinent biographical essays, including a reproduction of an article from Blackwood’s Magazine, August 1863 that was reprinted in John Paget’s Paradoxes and Puzzles: Historical, Judicial, and Literary.  Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1874.


Jerrold, Blanchard.  The Life of George Cruikshank, in Two Epochs.  London: Chatto and Windus, 1882.

            RBC backlog #16678 and ART NC1479.C9 J5 1898 (2 vol.)

This is one of the key biographical texts written about George Cruikshank just after his death.  It includes an interesting chapter on Cruikshank described by his friends and an Appendix of works illustrated by George Cruikshank.  It is a key source to refer to when trying to assess how Cruikshank was viewed during his lifetime.


McLean, Ruari.  George Cruikshank:  His Life and Work as a Book Illustrator.  New York:  Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1948(?).

            ART, DAVIS and RBC NC242.C7 M3

            This work is interesting, as it focuses on one part of his career: as a book illustrator.  It is a good source to see the comparison between his skills as a book illustrator verses his skills as a caricaturist or printmaker, as well as where scholars have blurred the lines between the three roles Cruikshank played.  It includes some good illustrations of his work, reproduced in their original size.


Patten, Robert L., ed.  George Cruikshank:  A Revaluation.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1974.

DAVIS and RBC REF NC1479.C9 G4

This work is a series of essays edited by Robert Patten, author of George Cruikshank’s Life, Times and Art.  The contributing writers vary in background from the Assistant Keeper of the Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum to a caricaturist who works for the New York Review of Books.  The essays themselves also vary widely from discussions of his artistic development to his relationship with Dickens to a psychodynamic approach to his grotesque drawings. 


Patten, Robert L.  George Cruikshank’s Life, Times and Art.  New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press, 1992.

ART N6797.C78 P3 1992 (2 vol.) 

This is a long, comprehensive and extensive look at Cruikshank’s life and art.  It outlines in full detail, all of Cruikshank’s development, relationships with other artists, writers, and Temperance societies.  It’s a great work depicting how we view Cruikshank and his work a century later.


Thackery, William Makepeace.  An Essay on the Genius of George Cruikshank.  1840, 1884.

            RBC NC1479.C9 T3

            William Makepeace Thackery was a close friend of Cruikshank, and an undying supporter of his work.  This volume is in a gorgeous green leather Victorian binding, with tons of illustrations, many of which are in color.  It is very stiff and difficult to open, but it is nonetheless a key work that gives insight into how Cruikshank’s friends and contemporaries viewed him.

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