THE TELL TALE IN HIGH CREDIT WITH THE STATE GOSSIPS.

[London]: William Dent, June 8, 1792. Oblong lithograph folio, 10-1/2" x 16-1/4". Printed in black ink. Light tanning around outer edge. Very small closed edge tear at blank upper margin with archival tape repair on verso. Very Good.

This cartoon print depicts Edmund Burke, in Court dress, entertained at tea by the King and Queen. Burke holds his 'Reflections on the French Revolution.' The King holds a copy of Paine's 'Rights of Man.' Burke praises his 'Reflections' and orates, "This precious Book is the best Book ever written - for this glorious Book, first brought to light the designs of my associates - for whoever disapproves of this Book is capable of flat Rebellion, Revolution outrage and what not... That Book in your hand, which in reading I have felt Pain is of a piece with the Faction..." A woman [likely Madame Schwellenberg, keeper of the Queen's robes] in attendance watches Burke as she pours [but spills] tea and says, "But for dis coot man vot vos become of de Jewel Office." William Pitt stands behind Burke and hands him a coronet on the sly with the words "Reward of Apostasy" on the sash. Pitt says, "How the Fellow has abused us - but we must hold the candle to the Devil sometimes." The Queen looks on with no comment. [Nicholas K. Robinson's EDMUND BURKE: A LIFE IN CARICATURE, Yale Univ. Press: 1996, pp. 145-146.]
The British Museum says Dent was a printmaker and caricaturist active from about 1783-1793. Although Dent was frequently in the pay of the British government, "Loyalist caricaturists such as Isaac Cruikshank and William Dent provided visual evidence that reformers were undercover dis-loyalists" [Baer, The Rise and Fall of Radical Westminster, pages 86-87]. "Interestingly, Paine's person seldom appears in the early cartoons of 1791, though many depict Rights of Man. Paine made such an abrupt entrance onto the British political scene that he was not yet a recognizable figure to caricature. More often, however, Paine is present in cartoons through the placement of his text, which is a central weapon in the arsenal of the English Jacobins." [Grogan, Claire: RIGHTS OF MAN, THOMAS PAINE. Broadview Press: 2011, pp. 37-38.]
Not located on OCLC as of July 2018. Item #35203

Price: $1,750.00

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