Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Britain's Secret Weapon Against Invasion

BibliOdyssey, the home of delightful illustrations from vintage books, is featuring An Incomplete Evolution of the Cartoon Political Map.

The earliest illustration is from 1791 and the latest from 1900. Here we see "The French Invasion, or John Bull, bombarding the Bum-boats" (1793). As the French Revolution threatened to spill across the channel, satirical illustrator James Gillray offered his own explosive solution to a French invasion. These fears of invasion were not unfounded. The last attempted invasion of Britain did, in fact, take place in 1797.

HT to Eric

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1 Comments:

At Thursday, July 09, 2009 , Blogger Chachy said...

Eww.

Meanwhile, I learn from Wikipedia today that a common street name in England used to be "Gropecunt." It isn't one of those funny Anglo place names that happens to sound silly; the name derived from the places that prostitutes used to work. So it's pretty literal. But it fell out of favor as tastes changed.

My point being: we tend to think of language becoming more crude and less reserved over time, but it isn't necessarily the case. All the Gropecunts were changed to "Grape Lanes" and such by the 16th Century, and I don't think you'd see such a farty cartoon published in the mainstream press today.

 

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