Hogarth and His Times: Serious Comedy

David Bindman, Author University of California Press $45 (192p) ISBN 978-0-520-21299-2
It is hard to imagine a more tempting subject for a biography than William Hogarth (1697-1764), a man whose life was so knotted up in the tangled issues of his time. His personal involvement in the new Foundling Hospital, in questions of copyright and the academy, allow Uglow (Elizabeth Gaskell) to reflect on social, philosophical and even commercial issues of the day. But it is mostly in her detailed and engrossing examination of the contexts and contents of Hogarth's work, particularly of his satires and his series--A Rake's Progress, A Harlot's Progress, Marriage a la Mode--that Uglow elucidates Hogarth's life and Georgian society. Having trained as an engraver, Hogarth had roots in an art that was timely and popular. In many ways, Hogarth had more in common with friends like Henry Fielding, David Garrick and Laurence Sterne than with colleagues in the visual arts. In his sharp awareness of human frailty, he is very much a descendant of Swift; he even continues Swift's Battle of the Books, in a different medium--and on the side of the moderns. When many painters were aping anything Italian, particularly heroic history paintings, Hogarth was resolutely contemporary and English. As Uglow points out, ""any fool could tell a pious tale, but true `morals' were inseparable from mores, the way people lived in their wild and glorious and dirty detail."" It is this detail that Uglow brings to her portrait of the caustic, naive, vain, witty, generous Hogarth, and to his equally complicated times. 200 b&w illustrations, 14 color plates. British, translation, dramatic rights: Faber & Faber. (Nov.) FYI: In November, Yale will publish a new edition of Hogarth's The Analysis of Beauty. ($30 200p ISBN 0-300-07335-6; $15 paper -07346-1); in December, Univ. of California will publish an exhibition catalogue called Hogarth and His Times by David Bindman. 170 b&w illustrations, 6 color plates. ($45 208p ISBN 0-520-21299-1; $29.95 -21300-9)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-520-21300-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.