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Cruikshank, George

George Cruikshank (krŏŏk´shăngk), 1792–1878, English caricaturist, illustrator, and etcher; younger son of Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1810), caricaturist. Self-taught, George early gained a reputation for his humorous drawings and political and social satires. He succeeded James Gillray as the most popular caricaturist of his day. Cruikshank illustrated more than 850 books and contributed to such publications as the Meteor, the Scourge, and the Satirist. Among the best of his many illustrations are the famous Life in London (in collaboration with his brother); his masterly etchings for Grimm's German Popular Stories; and the 12 etchings in Richard Bentley's miscellany, which include the notable illustrations of Oliver Twist. In his later years Cruikshank made many drawings depicting the evils of intemperance, such as The Drunkard's Children, The Bottle, and The Gin Trap. Collections of his works are in the British and the Victoria and Albert museums.

See biographies by B. Jerrold (1882) and W. Bates (2d. ed. 1972); catalogs by A. M. Cohn (1924) and M. D. George (1949); study, ed. by R. L. Patten (1973).

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Cruikshank, George

Cruikshank, George (1792–1878). Caricaturist and book illustrator. Born in London of Scottish parents, apprentice and assistant in his father's print factory, Cruikshank rapidly became Gillray's successor as leading political caricaturist, but from about 1824 turned to book illustration as humorous artist and social commentator. Immensely productive, incorporating witty anthropomorphism, near-surrealism, and Celtic treatment of the supernatural, he worked with Thackeray, Ainsworth, and Dickens, counteracting the strong continental influence upon book illustration and enabling an English school to emerge. But as Regency exuberance yielded to Victorian gentility, his style did not move with public taste, and he began to outlive his popularity. Sprightly and convivial, he espoused total abstinence (1847) as zealously as he had formerly imbibed, to the embarrassment of friends, and lectured indefatigably for both temperance and Volunteer movements. Despite an active career of 72 years, with little diminution of powers, he struggled to survive.

A. S. Hargreaves

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Cruikshank, George

Cruikshank, George (1792–1878) English illustrator and cartoonist, well known for his political and theatrical illustrations. He first gained fame with his caricatures of the leading figures in George IV's divorce proceedings. He also illustrated more than 800 books, of which the best-known are Dickens' Sketches by Boz (1836) and Oliver Twist (1839).

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