Skip to content

George Cruikshank’s Almanack, 1835

February 5, 2016
by the gentle author

In 1835, George Cruikshank drew these illustrations of the notable seasons and festivals of the year in London for The Comic Almanack published by Charles Tilt of Fleet St and produced from 1835 – 53. Distinguished literary contributors included William Makepeace Thackeray and Henry Mayhew, but I especially enjoy George Cruikshank’s drawings for their detailed observation of the teeming street life of the capital. (Click on any of these images to enlarge)

JANUARY Everybody freezes

FEBRUARY Valentine’s Day

MARCH March winds

APRIL April showers

MAY – Sweeps on May Day

JUNE At the Royal Academy

JULY At Vauxhall Gardens

AUGUST – Oyster day

SEPTEMBER – Bartholomew Fair

OCTOBER – Return to Town

NOVEMBER – Penny for the Guy

DECEMBER Christmas

You may also enjoy

George Cruikshank’s Comic Alphabet

Tom & Jerry’s Life in London

More of Tom & Jerry’s Life in London

The Microcosm of London

The Microcosm of London II

8 Responses leave one →
  1. martin permalink
    February 5, 2016

    There’s a green plaque on the outside of house no.71 Amwell St, Finsbury EC1 where he lived and worked (1824~1849). Echo’s of these street scenes can still be found in the architecture all around this area.

  2. February 5, 2016

    These are splendid, detailed observations brilliantly drawn. Thank you for publishing them. I’m off to study them a little closer now.

  3. Christine Maiocco permalink
    February 5, 2016

    I would love to have a calendar with these illustrations!

  4. February 5, 2016

    I liked the March illustration showing the winds, everything flying. This is a key month some old sayings; March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers -A wet March makes a sad harvest – Mad as a March hare – Upon St David’s Day, put oats and barley in the clay – March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb; but if it comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion. These sayings have been used by farmers for weather prediction and crop growing for hundreds of years. What now with extreme climate change. John

  5. pauline taylor permalink
    February 5, 2016

    Cruikshank was wonderfully observant and such a good draughtsman, these are brilliant. I agree with the comment about a calendar, I would love one. Thank you GA for sharing them here.

  6. Peter Holford permalink
    February 5, 2016

    There’s so much life in these; drawn with exuberance. Mostly they gently poke fun without the extreme cruelty (often deserved) of some of his other cartoons or, indeed of Rowlandson! Love them.

  7. Mike Barlow permalink
    September 21, 2017

    The man lived until he was 84 and had a brother Robert also an illustrator whom he hardly spoke to. He was considered less talented than George but his work was good too. He was the last of the great caricaturists working from the 1810-12 period until his death in 1883 (I think). His father was also an illustrator and caricaturist Isaac Robert Cruikshank. You can find original examples of the Almanacks on, sometimes from as little as £10-20 up to £1000 for the set of 19 yearly volumes 1835-1853.

  8. January 11, 2019

    I’ve recently bought an almost complete set of the Comic Almanacks in their original form, complete with coloured covers and adverts. These confirm my long-held view that Cruikshank was a genius, pure and simple, worthy to rank alongside some of the greatest draughtsmen that ever lived. His line is impeccable– full of life and expression, and his sense of humour is wonderful. At the time when he was engaged on the Almanacks he was at the height of his powers and no-one came anywhere near him as a satirist of the early Victorian era.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS