The life of William Cobbett, written by himself. 1st plate.

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The life of William Cobbett, written by himself. 1st plate. This series of bitter satirical prints against the grand radical of the day are parodies on the autobiographical sketch in his own Register, published during this year. They need little further explanation than that given in the inscriptions beneath each plate, the first of which represents the pretended amusements of his childhood (Wright/Evans). / Cobbett as a small boy, ragged but sturdy, eggs on a bull-dog which is mauling a cat. He has thrown to the ground tankards strung on a strap. Behind him lies his hat, filled with apples. A goose followed by goslings escapes to the right. Behind is a ramshackle thatched cottage, a country ale-house of the lowest grade with the sign on a tall post. From the doorway, closed by a half-door and serving as a window, old Cobbett looks out. He holds a frothing tankard, and grins approvingly at his son. His likeness to Cobbett shows his identity. An old woman, evidently Mrs. Cobbett, looks over his shoulder, clenching her fists angrily at the fate of the cat. On the door-posts are chequers, sign that ale is sold. Under the thatch, in the gable, is a casement window with broken panes. On the wall is nailed a dead rat. There is also a bill headed by fighting-cocks. Smoke rises from a broken cask, thrust into the thatch, and serving as a chimney. A wagoner in a smock, holding his whip, sits on a bench by the door, draining a jug. In a line with the ale-house is a latrine of dilapidated planks and of the roughest kind, by which a sow is rooting. Above it on a line hang a ragged shirt and stockings. Trees form a background with the top of a church spire (BM). Artist: Gillray, James, 1756-1815. Date: September 29, 1809. Sourced from Digital Commonwealth website.

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