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George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians   By:

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In "George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians," T. Martin Wood delves into the life and work of an artist often overshadowed by his more renowned contemporaries. Wood's extensive research and insightful analysis provide an illuminating portrait of Du Maurier, offering readers a nuanced understanding of this often overlooked figure in the Victorian era.

Wood's writing style is engaging and accessible, making it easy for both academic readers and those with a general interest in the subject to delve into the book. Through detailed anecdotes and meticulous examination of Du Maurier's art, Wood brings to life the vibrant atmosphere of 19th-century London. Readers are transported to the era, gaining a deeper appreciation for the societal and cultural nuances that shaped Du Maurier's work.

One of the book's strongest aspects is Wood's exploration of Du Maurier's satire. As a cartoonist and illustrator, Du Maurier used his art to comment on the social and political issues of his time. Wood adeptly examines the satirical punch behind Du Maurier's depictions of the Victorian upper class, artfully dissecting the underlying messages and motivations behind his work. Wood's analysis provides valuable insights into the issues that concerned Du Maurier and the broader society in which he lived.

Wood also delves into Du Maurier's personal life, offering readers glimpses into the artist's thoughts, struggles, and relationships. This adds a necessary human element to the book, enabling readers to connect with Du Maurier on a more intimate level. Wood's attention to detail and thoroughness in his research weave together a comprehensive narrative of Du Maurier's life, shedding light on the influences that shaped his art.

One small criticism of the book is its occasional digressions into tangential topics. While these diversions provide interesting historical context, at times they disrupt the flow of the book. However, this flaw is minor in comparison to the overall quality of Wood's work.

"George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians" is a valuable addition to any literature or art history enthusiast's collection. Wood's thorough research, engaging writing style, and insightful analysis make this book a compelling read. By shining a well-deserved spotlight on a neglected artist, Wood offers readers a deeper understanding of the Victorian era through the lens of Du Maurier's satirical art.

First Page:


A Review of His Art and Personality



With Forty One Illustrations

London Chatto & Windus



George du Maurier

From a portrait in water colour by himself.

In the possession of the Artist's widow.]


Du Maurier worked for periodicals which buried in a back number each phase of his work as it came to an end. Thus it is that he is, unfortunately, chiefly now remembered by the last the most accessible, but not by any means the finest period of his work.

The present book is an attempt to correct this and to bring forward du Maurier's name again in the light of his earlier achievement.

No book on the artist, however, would be complete which omitted all reference to his literary attainment; nor would it be in order in an essay of this extent not to seek to demonstrate that connection which always exists between the life and the work of an artist of distinctive temperament. The author has endeavoured, in the chapter devoted to outlining the main incidents of du Maurier's career, to regard the feeling of his representatives that the autobiography of the novels is itself so complete and sensitive as scarcely to call at present for anything supplemental. He wishes to acknowledge the kindness of the artist's family in lending him portraits, sketch books, and manuscript with the permission for reproduction; also of Mr... Continue reading book >>

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