Election Cartoons and Political Communication in Victorian England

ROBERTS, Matthew (2013). Election Cartoons and Political Communication in Victorian England. Cultural and Social History, 10 (3), 369-395.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.2752/147800413X13661166397229


This article shows how perspectives drawn from visual and cultural studies can be used to shed new light on established areas of historical enquiry, in this case electoral politics. The focus is on general election cartoons - a rich though neglected historical source, the production and consumption of which thrived in large provincial towns from the 1860s to the 1880s. Election cartoons did more than simply visualize the written and spoken word. They were an important, distinctive medium for political communication in their own right, and a study of them suggests that the character and conduct of later Victorian electoral politics was far from being the elevated, sanitized and dispassionate affair that conventional accounts have often suggested. Initially a demotic and locally produced form of political communication, by the 1890s the election cartoon had been subordinated to the centralizing and controlling forces of national party politics.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.2752/147800413X13661166397229
Page Range: 369-395
Depositing User: Lorna Greaves
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2012 14:27
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:32
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5923

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