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George Cruikshank’s Festive Season In London

December 16, 2017
by the gentle author

As we brace ourselves for the forthcoming festive season, let us contemplate George Cruikshank‘s illustrations of yuletide in London 1838-53 from his Comic Almanack which remind us how much has changed and also how little has changed. (You can click on any of these images to enlarge)

A swallow at Christmas

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas dining

Christmas bustle

Boxing day

Hard frost

A picture in the gallery

Theatrical dinner

The Parlour & the Cellar

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s birth

Twelfth Night – Drawing characters

January – Last year’s bills

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George Cruikshank’s Comic Alphabet

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The Microcosm of London II

7 Responses leave one →
  1. December 16, 2017

    How fortunate that we no longer carry things to such excesses …

  2. John Barrett permalink
    December 16, 2017

    I liked George Cruikshank’s interpretation of the festive season, it was all riotous and drink fueled happiness that’s what I call big party time for all I like. I also liked Dylan Thomas’es version ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ and a visit to Grandpas . Best wishes to all the Spitalfieldslife people around the would. Poet John

  3. Richard Smith permalink
    December 16, 2017

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  4. Helen Breen permalink
    December 16, 2017

    Holiday greetings from Boston,

    GA, many of these Cruikshank sketches are most appropriate for the season. “Christmas Eve” and Christmas Dinner” could really be illustrations for Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” – shades of the Fezziwigs dancing. Cruikshank did illustrate “Boz” and others works for Dickens through. The original Carol was done by John Leech (1817-1864). (Had to look that one up.)

    On the other side of the coin, “Theatrical Dinner” and “The Parlor and the Cellar” suggest the pitfalls of drink, a cause that Cruikshank took up in later years.

    Thanks …

  5. December 16, 2017

    Holiday wishes from the Hudson River Valley. One of our “usuals” is to screen the
    old version of “A Christmas Carol”, and it is so familiar by now that we can mouth the dialog.
    Some of the engravings above must have surely influenced the art directors of that film.
    (am thinking of the riotous party given by Mr. Fezziwig!?)
    Many thanks to the Gentle Author for a daily gift of optimism!

  6. pauline taylor permalink
    December 16, 2017

    The incomparable Mr Cruickshank, I never tire of seeing them, thank you GA.

  7. Kitanz permalink
    December 18, 2017

    My Goodness-What a Wild Christmas!! I really enjoy these Very Much!! Merry Christmas to All!!!

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