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George Cruikshank (1792-1878)

George Cruikshank (1792-1878)

George Cruikshank was the leading caricaturist and illustrator of his generation who, in a long and prolific career, managed to temper his style from Regency rumbustiousness to Victorian gentility.

The second son of the caricaturist Isaac Cruikshank, George Cruikshank was born in Bloomsbury, London on 27 September 1792, probably at the family home at 27 Duke Street (now Coptic Street). By 1808, the family had moved to 117 Dorset Street (now Dorset Rise), Salisbury Square, close to St Bride’s, Fleet Street. Like his elder brother, Robert, he received a basic education at a school in Edgware.

Working with his father from an early age, Cruikshank began to publish in 1806. Then, following his father’s death from alcohol abuse in 1811, he supported the family through his work as a graphic artist, gradually becoming the leading political caricaturist of his day. He completed James Gillray’s last work for the publisher Hannah Humphrey, and collaborated with the radical publisher William Hone, as well as producing many caricatures of his own.

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