Tim Clayton: James Gillray and a Revolution in Satire (1792)

As today’s guest Tim Clayton explains, 'the late eighteenth-century mixed the extremely crude with the extremely fine in a fascinating sort of way.’ The grand master of this potent concoction was the greatest political caricaturist of modern times: James Gillray. Gillray worked in raucous, restless times. He began in the wake of the American War of Independence and, having charted each twist and turn of the French Revolution, he died a short time before the Battle of Waterloo. In this time he pioneered a fearless new brand of political satire. No one was spared. He lampooned King George III; his son the Prince of W(h)ales; the prime minister William Pitt the Younger, and all the prominent cultural and political figures in London life. But how did he get away with it? What was his true motivation? How clever really was James Gillray? In this episode the historian Tim Clayton takes us back to 1792, a testing year in Gillray's career, to find out. The characters and stories that feature in this episode of Travels Through Time form part of Clayton’s latest book. James Gillray: A Revolution in Satire is out now. Show notes Scene One: February/March 1792 London and Hannah Humphrey’s house at 18 Old Bond Street. Scene Two: 21 May 1792. The Royal Proclamation against seditious writing. Scene Three: December 1792. The French King is on trial and Gillray releases his series of ‘pro bono publico’ prints. Memento: A fire screen, painted on both sides by Gillray, as presented by the artist to Hannah Humphrey. People/Social Presenter: Peter Moore Guest: Tim Clayton Production: Maria Nolan Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours Theme music: ‘Love Token’ from the album ‘This Is Us’ By Slava and Leonard Grigoryan Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_ See where 1792 fits on our Timeline

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In each episode we ask a leading historian, novelist or public figure the tantalising question, "If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit?" Once they have made their choice, then they guide us through that year in three telling scenes. We have visited Pompeii in 79AD, Jerusalem in 1187, the Tower of London in 1483, Colonial America in 1776, 10 Downing Street in 1940 and the Moon in 1969. Chosen as one of the Evening Standard's Best History Podcasts of 2020. Presented weekly by Sunday Times bestselling writer Peter Moore, award-winning historian Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine.