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I, Hogarth

by Michael Dean

This is Georgian London in all its farting, belching, gin-sodden, fornicating, pox-ridden glory. Rabelaisian, indeed Hogarthian, - what would you expect from a depiction of the great William Hogarth from the stews of Spitalifields to the fresh air of Chiswick. And the cast of characters includes drunks, whores, the Prime Minister, thieves, con-artists, Handel and the denizens of the Hellfire Club. You will want to clap.

Extract

The girl child who had greeted and cheeked me when I first arrived came in so quickly she had surely been on the other side of the door. Her switching skirt reminded me powerfully of the mother, with her sleeves made of the same stuff. But Nancy's demeanour had changed completely. She stood meekly before me, lowered her eyes, raised them a second then lowered them again. Then she did a curtsey, the picture of submission.

Parallels

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
 

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