Friday, March 27, 2020

Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair

Queen Caroline (NYPL)
[We have the following announcement.  DRE.]

"Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair," the joint exhibition of Yale University's Lewis Walpole Library and Lillian Goldman Law Library, is now available online.

Drawing on the Lewis Walpole Library's strengths in graphic satire and the Law Library's collections of trial accounts and illustrated legal texts, "Trial by Media" documents the media frenzy provoked two centuries ago by the attempt of King George IV of England to divorce his consort Queen Caroline on the grounds of adultery. The items range from mocking caricatures to political screeds and sober, journalistic accounts. Today these sources serve as a lens for studying gender roles, class divisions, publishing, political satire, and British politics.

In addition to digital text and images of the Fall 2019 exhibition, the digital version includes a collection of ten scholarly essays and a bibliography. The essays include:

-- Andrew Bricker, "Between Words and Images: Visual Satire, Libel Law and the Queen Caroline Affair"
-- Jocelyn Harris, "Jane Austen, Caroline of Brunswick, and the Prince of Wales"
-- William Anthony Hay, "Robert Cruikshank, A Scene in the New Farce of the Lady and the Devil, June 1820"
-- Richard Kopley, "Caroline and Edgar Allan Poe’s 'The Purloined Letter'"
-- Ryan Martins, "The Legal Legacy of the Queen's Trial: The Rise and Fall of Caroline's Rule"
-- Kristin Samuelian, "Looking at the Case against Her: Intertextuality in Queen Caroline Prints"
-- Mark Schoenfield, "Henry Brougham Per(for)ming the Defense"
-- Simon Stern, "John Bull, Public Sentiment and the Reasonable Man"
-- Dana Van Kooy, "The Queen Caroline Affair as a Theatrical and Dramatic Spectacle"
-- Susannah Walker, "TRIAL IN ABSENTIA? Criminal Proceedings and Public Personae"

A special attraction of the online exhibit is a digital reproduction of the Humphrey Shop Album, created by prominent London satiric print publisher George Humphrey (1773?-1831?) to market prints to his clients. Virtually all of its 131 hand-colored prints are contemporary satires of the Queen Caroline scandal by artists such as George Cruikshank, Robert Cruikshank, and Theodore Lane. The survival of this shop album in its original binding is itself extraordinary, as most such albums were broken up and sold as individual prints by later dealers. The album is one of the treasures of the Lewis Walpole Library.

"Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair" was co-curated by Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library, and Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian at the Lillian Goldman Law Library. The online exhibition was designed by Kristen McDonald of the Lewis Walpole Library.