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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.
William. George Cruikshank:
The Artist, the Humorist, and the Man, with Some Account of his Brother,
Robert: a Critcio-Biographical
Essay. Amsterdam: S. Emmering,
NC1479.C9 B3 1972
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.
W.H. George Cruikshank. London:
Duckworth & Co., 1908.
DAVIS NC1479.C9 C5
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.
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.
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
York: University Club Library, February 1990.
RBC Z664.U5 I4
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.
Blanchard. The Life of George
Cruikshank, in Two Epochs. London:
Chatto and Windus, 1882.
RBC backlog #16678 and ART NC1479.C9 J5 1898
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.
Ruari. George Cruikshank:
His Life and Work as a Book Illustrator.
New York: Pellegrini &
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.
Robert L., ed. George Cruikshank:
A Revaluation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1974.
and RBC REF NC1479.C9 G4
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.
Robert L. George Cruikshank’s
Life, Times and Art. New Brunswick,
NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992.
N6797.C78 P3 1992 (2 vol.)
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.
William Makepeace. An Essay on the
Genius of George Cruikshank. 1840,
RBC NC1479.C9 T3
Makepeace Thackery was a close friend of Cruikshank, and an undying supporter of
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
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