Vol. 1: Robinson, Nicholas.

Type: Article

Robinson, Nicholas. ‘Caricature and the Regency Crisis: an Irish perspective’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 1 (1986), pp 157-176.

This article discusses how caricaturists portrayed the two most important Irishmen in the Westminster parliament, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Edmund Burke, during the Regency Crisis of 1788-89. Robinson gives evidence of the immense popularity of caricatures in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Ireland and England, and suggests that caricatures are an important source of information for Irish history that are often neglected and overlooked by historians. He details the mental illness of King George III, the events that led up to the Regency Crisis of 1788, the ‘propaganda battle’ which ensued between the Tories and Whigs, and the ‘swift and scurrilous’ reaction of the caricaturists, particularly in their portrayal of the battle between Sheridan and Burke. Included are eight plates of caricatures of the Regency Crisis; Robinson summarizes and analyses each, noting the prejudice in the caricaturists’ depiction of ‘Irishness’. Also included are two appendices: A note on the Dublin print trade, and The caricaturists, containing biographical information on the artists noted in the text.