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Serials to Graphic NovelsThe Evolution of the Victorian Illustrated Book$
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Catherine J. Golden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062297

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062297.001.0001

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Realism, Victorian Material Culture, and the Enduring Caricature Tradition

Realism, Victorian Material Culture, and the Enduring Caricature Tradition

(p.92) 3 Realism, Victorian Material Culture, and the Enduring Caricature Tradition
Serials to Graphic Novels

Catherine J. Golden

University Press of Florida

By the mid-nineteenth century, the aesthetics of the Victorian illustrated book were changing. The public desired artistic book illustration that could simulate the lifelike quality of photography. “Realism, Victorian Material Culture, and the Enduring Caricature Tradition” frames the realistic school of illustration, commonly referred to as the Sixties, with the Great Exhibition of 1851; this first ever world’s fair of culture and industry stimulated production of beautiful objects, including books with decorative bindings, culminating in a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue in a representational style (also referred to as realism or naturalism) in vogue from the 1850s–1870s. Foremost, this chapter examines how the creative vision of the caricaturists underpins the achievement of some Sixties artists, notably Fred Barnard and J. (James) Mahoney, who fleshed out inventive caricature designs to suit popular taste for the Household Edition of Dickens’s works. We witness this same kind of revision of the caricature tradition in Alice in Wonderland (1865). To appeal to middle-class consumers of the 1860s, John Tenniel refashioned Carroll’s caricature-style illustrations by adding domestic interiors and landscape details, realistically recreating Carroll’s social caricatures.

Keywords:   Great Exhibition of 1851, Dickens, Sixties, Barnard, Mahoney, Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Tenniel, caricature, realism

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