© 2017

The Business of Satirical Prints in Late-Georgian England


  • Provides a scholarly account of the people and the processes involved in bringing late-Georgian satirical prints to market

  • Explores how the processes of how these prints were made, and sold, constrained the satiric content these objects contained

  • Makes a significant contribution to a growing and important body of work which examines print culture and early-modern life


Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. James Baker
    Pages 1-19
  3. James Baker
    Pages 21-56
  4. Bringing Satire to Market

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. James Baker
      Pages 59-78
    3. James Baker
      Pages 79-112
    4. James Baker
      Pages 113-122
  5. The Market for Satire

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. James Baker
      Pages 125-148
    3. James Baker
      Pages 149-167
    4. James Baker
      Pages 169-196
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 197-232

About this book


This book explores English single sheet satirical prints published from 1780-1820, the people who made those prints, and the businesses that sold them. It examines how these objects were made, how they were sold, and how both the complexity of the production process and the necessity to sell shaped and constrained the satiric content these objects contained. It argues that production, sale, and environment are crucial to understanding late-Georgian satirical prints. A majority of these prints were, after all, published in London and were therefore woven into the commercial culture of the Great Wen. Because of this city and its culture, the activities of the many individuals involved in transforming a single satirical design into a saleable and commercially viable object were underpinned by a nexus of making, selling, and consumption. Neglecting any one part of this nexus does a disservice both to the late-Georgian satirical print, these most beloved objects of British art, and to the story of their late-Georgian apotheosis – a story that James Baker develops not through the designs these objects contained, but rather through those objects and the designs they contained in the making.


Early modern Publishing European history Satire Social history eighteenth century commerce Georgian

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

James Baker is Lecturer in Digital History at the University of Sussex, UK. He specialises in the history of the printed image in the long eighteenth century, is a fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, and has held positions at the British Library, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the University of Kent, UK.

Bibliographic information


“The book opens like a well-spun tale, embarking its readers in the breezy style that characterises James Baker’s prose throughout the book on a journey of discovery through the late-Georgian network of print shops, engravers, publishers, customers and collectors. … The Business of Satirical Prints in Late-Georgian England undoubtedly constitutes an important contribution to the recent scholarship on both graphic satire and the business of art.” (Sophie Mesplède,, July, 2018)