- Museum number
Satirical Pamphlet entitled "Sultan Sham and his Seven Wives: An historical, Romantic, heroic poem, in three cantos by Hudibras, the Younger." Lettered beneath the title with the quotations:
"And Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart" 1st Kings, xi.3.
"A King may be a tool, a thing of straw: but if the name serves to frighten our enemies and secure our property, 'tis well enough. A scare-crow is a thing of straw but it protects the corn" Swift.
Lettered beneath the quotation:
"London: Printed and Published by W.Benbow, 269 Strand; and Sold by All Booksellers in Town and Country. 1820"
The letterpress pamphlet of 60 pages takes the form of a satirical poem on the life of George IV in which Queen Charlotte is presented as the villain. A fold out illustration is included in the pamphlet before the title page, BM Satires 14029: George IV, dressed as a Turk, marches arrogantly past a row of ladies of his harem, holding a large goblet whose contents are spilling. He wears a jewelled turban with the high peak of a fool's cap, terminating in a bell. The end of his long furred robe is held by a thin man (left) wearing a turban decorated with antlers to indicate Lord Conyngham; the latter's arms and legs are bare, and he shambles along, carrying a decanter. The King says: "Variety is charming. Constancy is not for me, so Ladies pray take warning." The seven ladies, all fat and all in quasi-Turkish dress with turbans, watch him intently."
Letterpress pamphlet with etched hand-coloured illustration
Etching with hand-colouring
- Production date
Height: 222 millimetres (Height of pamphlet)
Height: 221 millimetres (Height of printed illustration)
Width: 134 millimetres (Width of pamphlet)
Width: 235 millimetres (Width of printed illustration)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
The design may derive from prints of the Prince and Lord Jersey in 1796, especially Gillray's 'Grand-Signior retiring' (BM Satires No. 8807). In BM Satires No. 8809 there is a picture of the Prince as a Turk among his harem. Among the seven here depicted, but scarcely characterized, are probably, besides Lady Conyngham and Lady Hertford, the Duchess of Richmond, and Mrs. Quentin. The print appears in BM Satires No. 14030; a similar print is in BM Satires No. 14049.
For another version of the illustration see 1935, 0522.11.163.b
Bound as part of "Political Tracts Volume 2." Number 2 of 10 volumes of “Political Tracts” A compilation of satirical and political pamphlets published circa 1819-1822. The contents of this volume mainly concern the Queen Caroline affair and satirise the Prince Regent, subsequently George IV, his court and ministers.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number