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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Characters and Caricatures: The Printed Image in England, 1700-1820 (HIST10466)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the printed images that were produced in London during the long eighteenth century. It analyses what this engaging form of source material reveals about social attitudes, political ideas, and cultural life in Georgian England. Satirical, didactic and decorative prints are studied in exploring what was a 'golden age' of graphic design and a formative period in the making of 'public opinion' in Britain.
Course description This honours course explores a variety of the printed images that were produced in England between 1700 and 1830. This was a 'golden age' in the history of English art in general and of graphic satire in particular. Some 20,000 examples of single-sheet images were published in London between 1760 and 1820 alone. Many concern political themes and feature the individuals, events, and scandals that dominated British national life. Others provide social commentary, exposing the follies, foibles and fashions of all manner of people. Still others offer information, instruction, and decoration. Taken together they amount to a huge and rich corpus of material that reveals much about the issues, sentiments and prejudices that characterised eighteenth-century public opinion and popular culture.

The course will develop skills of identifying the major artists, engravers and publishers who created and disseminated these images. It will help students to recognise the various techniques involved in their production, including engraving, etching, and mezzotint. Themes to be explored will include the circumstances that lay behind the making of graphic art, the audiences at which it was aimed, and the impact that it had. These classes will seek to interpret the intricate symbolism and coded messages that this material often contained, and investigate the contemporary social, political and cultural contexts that help to explain its meanings.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. The course organiser has not identified any sensitive content within this course's focus, however course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Short Assignment (30%)
3,000 word Essay (70%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of seminar participation, class presentations, and essay a detailed knowledge of the production, circulation and reception of printed images in eighteenth-century England;
  2. demonstrate, by way of seminar participation, class presentations, and essay, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon scholarship relating to the printed image in eighteenth-century society;
  3. demonstrate, by way of seminar participation, class presentations, and essay, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise contemporary printed images as primary material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of seminar participation, class presentations, and essay, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Clayton, T., The English Print 1688-1802 (1997)

Donald, D., The Age of Caricature: Satirical Prints in the Reign of George III (1996)

Gatrell, V., City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London (2006)

Gatrell, V., The First Bohemians: Art and Life in London's Golden Age (2013)

George, M. D., English Political Caricature: a Study of Opinion and Propaganda (2 vols., 1959)

George, M. D., Hogarth to Cruikshank: Social Change in Graphic Satire (1967)

Godfrey, R. T., James Gillray: the Art of Caricature (2001)

Griffiths, A., The Print before Photography: an Introduction to European Printmaking 1550-1820 (2016)

Hallett, M., The Spectacle of Difference: Graphic Satire in the Age of Hogarth (1999)

McCreery, C., The Satirical Gaze: Prints of Women in Late Eighteenth-Century England (2004)

O'Connell, S., The Popular Print in England 1550-1850 (1999)

Paulson, R., Hogarth (3 vols., 1991-3)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Adam Fox
Tel: (0131 6)50 3835
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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