- Museum number
- Object: [Frontispiece to the modern dunciad.]
An imitation of the frontispiece to 'The Dunciad', 1729 (B.M.L. 642. k. 1 (No. 1795), copied in woodcut for Pope's 'Works', 1858, ii). An ass laden with a pack-saddle heaped with books and papers stands directed slightly to the right munching thistles. The pile is topped by a book inscribed 'Thurlow', on which stands an owl. [Pallas for Wisdom priz'd her favorite Owl, / Pope for its Dulness chose the self-same Fowl . . . / Epigram in 'The Daily Gazeteer', Dec. 18, 1738 ('N. & Q.' II. ii. 128). Cf. No. 1221.] The others are 'Bowles'; 'Carrs Tour'; 'Edinb. Review'; 'Dibdin's Plays'; 'Fitzgerald'; 'Anthony Pasquin'. The papers are 'The Scourge', 'Town Talk', 'Theatrical Inquisitor', 'Meteor', 'Satirist'. On the ground is an open book: 'Thos Agg Humphy Hedgehog', and papers inscribed: 'Mor. Herald'; 'Operas by S. Arnold'; 'Novels by Rosa M, Mrs Meeke, Bridget Bluemantle'; 'At Home a Farce'; 'Essays by Hewson Clarke'; 'Champion'. Below the design:
'Hæc ego non credam Venusina digna lucerna?
Hæc Ego non agitem? Juv.' [Satire, i, ll. 51-2.]
[Must I not deem these things worthy of the lamp of Horace? Must I not have my fling at them.]
22 November 1814.
- Production date
Height: 170 millimetres
Width: 106 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The anonymous verse-satire by George Daniel attacks contemporary authors. Edward Thurlow (1781-1829), 2nd Baron, was a minor poet who wrote (1822) a continuation of 'The Tempest'. W. L. Bowles (1762-1850) was divine, antiquary, and poet. Sir John Carr wrote many 'Tours', see No. 11084, &c. T. J. Dibdin (1771-1841), song-writer, wrote about 200 operas, plays, and pantomimes. W. T. Fitzgerald (1759-1829), poetaster, of whom Canning said 'Poeta nascitur non Fitz', was parodied in 'Rejected Addresses' (see No. 11940, &c.). Pasquin was the pseudonym of John Williams (1761-1818). John T. Agg specialized in pseudonyms and scurrility, cf. No. 12808; as Humphrey Hedgehog (cf. No. 12808) he wrote so-called novels, and is credited with two works that he attributed to Byron; he was the editor of 'Town Talk' (see Index of Printsellers). For S. J. Arnold (1774-1842), writer of musical plays, operas, and dramas, and theatre-manager, cf. No. 11941. Four of the papers on the ass are known for their caricatures, largely by G. Cruikshank, who did all the plates to the 'Meteor'. The 'Theatrical Inquisitor or Literary Mirror', by 'Cerberus', was published from 1812 to 1821. The editor of the 'Scourge' was Hewson Clarke, see 'D.N.B.', here said to have contributed 'a principal part of the ribaldry and scurrility ... in the Satirist, Scourge and Theatrical Inquisitor' (p. 18). Bate-Dudley (p. 65) is attacked as editor and proprietor of the 'Morning Herald', see No. 12207, and as author of 'At Home', see No. 12324. The 'Edinburgh Review' is attacked for the 'vulgarity and profaneness' of the reviews by Jeffrey and others. The 'Champion', a Sunday paper edited by John Scott, is attacked (p. 66) for the latter's criticisms on works by Daniel. The remaining allusions are to the vapid novels of William Lane's Minerva Press (pp. 93-6). 'Rosa M.' (Byron's 'snivelling Matilda') is Mrs. Charlotte Dacre (? also a pseudonym), styled on title-pages 'better known as Rosa Matilda'; she is here (p. 8) said to be the 'daughter of the notorious Jew King', see No. 11704. Mrs. Mary Meeke was one of the most popular of the Minerva writers (p. 95). She was Macaulay's favourite 'bad' novelist. G. O. Trevelyan, 'Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay', 1908, p. 96. It is here said that Lane (who made a fortune) paid his novelists .£5 a volume. See Amy Cruse, 'The Englishman and his Books in the Early Nineteenth Century', 1930, pp. 93 ff.; M. Sadleir in 'The Library', xxi. 207-15; D. Blakey, 'The Minerva Press', 1939. Bridget Bluemantle is the pseudonym of an unidentified novelist. Cf. No. 11941.
Reid, No. 401. Cohn, No. 223.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1891,1116.179