The Godfather of Satire: The Satirical World of James Gillray with Alice Loxton

History Rage

In this captivating episode, we dive headfirst into the colorful world of Georgian satire and uncover its hidden gems. Join our host, Paul, as he welcomes the passionate and knowledgeable historian, Alice Loxton, to explore the life and work of James Gillray.

Episode Highlights:

Surreal Satire in the Georgian Age (00:40:07):

  • Alice paints a vivid picture of the surreal and often overlooked aspect of the Georgian age.
  • She emphasizes the brilliance of satirists like James Gillray in creating memorable and unnerving images.
  • The conversation highlights how satirical art was a powerful tool in capturing and communicating the essence of an era.

Satire, Scandals, and Legal Controversies (00:41:30):

  • Dive into a fascinating discussion about the controversies and legal issues surrounding satirical pieces during the Georgian era.
  • Alice delves into the infamous Mary Ann Clarke affair, involving the Duke of York and the scandal that shook the British public.
  • The impact of satirical prints on politics and public figures is thoroughly explored.

Overlooked Gems (00:46:00):

  • Discover lesser-known satirical works and figures from the Georgian era.
  • Alice introduces Thomas Rowlandson, Isaac Cruikshank, and Hannah Humphrey, the print shop owner who played a pivotal role behind the scenes.
  • The importance of recognizing the contributions of these overlooked figures to the world of satire is highlighted.

James Gillray’s Legacy (00:49:36):

  • Alice’s passion for James Gillray shines through as she discusses the artist’s impact on history and her commitment to bringing him back into the limelight.
  • The conversation takes an amusing turn as they discuss historical figures going viral and the enduring power of satire in the digital age.


This episode is an eye-opening journey through the world of Georgian satire, bringing to life the brilliant, bold, and often bizarre works of James Gillray. Join us in celebrating the overlooked figures and masterpieces of this bygone era and the enduring power of satire to shape history.


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