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George Cruikshank’s London Summer

July 12, 2016
by the gentle author

JULY 1838 – Flying Showers in Battersea Fields

Should you ever require it, here is evidence of the constant volatility of English summer weather, courtesy of George Cruikshank’s Comic Almanack published by Henry Tilt of Fleet St annually between 1835 & 1853, illustrating the continuum of festivals and seasons of the year for Londoners. (Click on any of these images to enlarge)

JUNE 1835 At the Royal Academy

JUNE 1836 – Holidays at the Public Offices

JUNE 1837 – Haymaking

JULY 1835 At Vauxhall Gardens

JULY 1836 – Dog Days in Houndsditch

JULY 1837 – Fancy Fair

AUGUST 1836 – Bathing at Brighton

AUGUST 1837 – Regatta

SEPTEMBER 1835 – Bartholomew Fair

SEPTEMBER 1837 – Cockney Sportsmen

You may also like to take a look at

George Cruikshank’s Comic Alphabet

4 Responses leave one →
  1. July 12, 2016

    The illustrations shown here for the weather are so good, with costume and comical situations for the period. Nice bathing scene with a big wave flourish. Nothing changed regarding the UK weather its always been good, bad and indifferent. Typical island weather reign’s here, in the 1660’s Samuel Pepys often complained in his diary about the bad weather in June/July he wrote, weeks and weeks of continual rain he was fed up (aren’t we all) he lived in Seething Lane EC3. On one occasion he was wearing light shoes and had to change them. Sam didn’t like wet feet I think he was a dandy he liked lots of ‘good gear’. John B

  2. Shawdian permalink
    July 12, 2016

    The delectable caricaturists who graces Charles Dickens books. Cruickshank was ahead of his time not one afraid to publicly attack the establishment and show his dislike of Politicians or the Royals. 1820 he received a bribe of £100 a pledge not to attack George IV ‘in any immoral
    situation’. I doubt he took much notice of that. These illustrations here show the skill of the artists and his awareness of human nature. British summer, (we have no summer this year 🙁 ) His work includes over 10.000 illustrations capturing the devil inside us all at work and at play. He is supposed to have had eleven illegitimate children with his maid Adelaide so he would have needed a huge sense of humour to feed and clothe that lot. He was his ‘own man’ Mr Cruickshank the hilarious! I enjoy looking at the detail in his work with lots of curls and sworls, pretty much like Van Goghs work, maybe this indicates slight madness … After a lifetime of indulgence he became obssessed with anti smoking and drinking, sending out leaflets damning the evils of both of his past pleasures. One can forgive him, hypocrasy after all is what his work is all about.

  3. pauline taylor permalink
    July 12, 2016

    The wonderful George Cruikshank, he is always in a class of his own. Looking out at my garden from where I sit at my computer the weather very much resembles that shown in the first image. Where has our summer weather gone?

  4. July 12, 2016

    I’ve always found Cruikshanks’ work a bit sinister? – the biting caricature is often very appropriate, e.g. in his political cartoons, but I’m surprised that he was thought a suitable illustrator for children’s books like J.A. Paris’s ‘Philosophy in Sport Made Science in Earnest’ (1827):

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