Monday, April 16, 2012

George Cruikshank, Charles Dickens’ illustrator & temperance advocate

George Cruikshank, Dickens’ illustrator & temperance advocate

In belated celebration of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, we present a letter from the CHS Collection, written by George Cruikshank, the Victorian caricaturist most famous perhaps for his illustrations of Oliver Twist:

In this 1848 letter, Cruikshank presents his nephew W. Percy Cruikshank to a C. M. Evans of Birmingham. Cruikshank (the nephew) delivered lectures “in the provinces” on The Bottle, his uncle’s popular illustrations on the evils of alcoholism. (On the temperance issue, Dickens and Cruikshank parted ways.)

Despite some preliminary investigation, the provenance of this letter remains a mystery. Did C. M. Evans eventually leave Birmingham for the golden shore of California?
Marie Silva, Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
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