in the UK
At the beginning of the Victorian era it seemed that the sun would never set on the vast British Empire which spanned the globe. However, the Pax Britannica was not all that it seemed and the forces of Her Imperial Majesty were frequently called upon to fend of aggressor nations and quell rebellions in Britain's many colonies. And in an age before computers, television, radio and the cinema the impact of cartoons and caricature was considerable, especially when the only sources of information were posters, newspapers and books.To a news-hungry public, anxious about world affairs, it was the cartoon, with its immediacy and universal accessibility - even to the barely literate - that could speak the message mere words could never convey. During the Crimean War it was John Leech and his colleagues at "Punch" who drew their own satirical version of events. And who could take Tsar Nicholas of Russia, Paul Kruger of the Transvaal or the Mad Mahdi of the Sudan at all seriously when the artists of Fun, Judy, Moonshine, Vanity Fair and others cocked a snook at all they held dear? However, Britain's enemies also had a wealth of talent labouring to counteract imperial propaganda and there were frequent, often vicious, attacks on Queen Victoria and her generals, admirals and politicians in French and German satirical magazines such as Simplicissimus, Le Grelot and Lustiger Blatter."Wars of Empire in Cartoons" is divided into chapters covering the main conflicts of the second half of the 19th century year-by-year. Each chapter is prefaced with a concise introduction that provides a historical framework for the cartoons of that year. Altogether some 300 drawings from both sides of each conflict have been skilfully blended to produce a unique visual history of the wars of the British Empire.
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