A Novice entering the Convent of St.George

Caricature by George Cruickshank satirising the flight of Princess Charlotte the daughter of George the IV, after she broke of her engagement to the Princes of Orange and her fathers confining her to her residence at Warwick House (adjacent to … Read Full Description

$A 450

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S/N: CARIC-019–183286
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Full Title:

A Novice entering the Convent of St.George




Tear at top of the sheet into image, loss of right sheet edge to plate mark.


Etching with original hand colouring.

Image Size: 

x 245mm
A Novice entering the Convent of St.George - Antique Print from 1814

Genuine antique



Caricature by George Cruickshank satirising the flight of Princess Charlotte the daughter of George the IV, after she broke of her engagement to the Princes of Orange and her fathers confining her to her residence at Warwick House (adjacent to Carlton House) until she could be conveyed to Cranbourne Lodge at Windsor.

 A scene outside the gate of Carlton House (right) which is inscribed ‘Convent of Saint Geo[rge]’. 

The Duke of York, wearing a long gown over uniform, stands with legs astride, holding a crosier; on his head is a mitre in which is a feathered plume. He addresses Princess Charlotte (left), standing between her and a meretricious-looking mother abbess with a transparent lace veil over her head, and a birch-rod tied behind her back. The Duke says: “There’s no compulsion my darling only you must.” 

The Princess, who wears a décolletée dress and small coronet, stands with folded arms and downcast eyes; she answers: “Needs must when the [Devil drives].” 

The Bishop of Salisbury, dressed like a bare-footed friar, bends towards her, pointing to the right; he says: “See? ther’s the Lady Abbess! come pray take the veil.” His wig extends laterally round his head, concealing his face, and is inscribed ‘Salisbury Plain’. 

The abbess, fat and sinister, looks at the Princess with a cunning leer; she holds a lace veil like her own, and says: “Come! come Child take the veil & forget your own Mother & then your good papa will love you.” 

Four ‘nuns’ with hoods over their heads stand behind her (right), watching and talking in couples. Behind them is a corner of Carlton House; over the gate dangles a bottle, sign of debauchery. On a hill behind the abbess is ‘Warwick House’; a broom projects from the roof supporting a placard ‘To Lett’ (like the brooms tied to ships’ masts to show they were for sale). On the extreme right behind the Bishop is a hackney coach and coachman standing beside a sign-post pointing (left) to ‘Connaught’ [Place].

British Museum: 

George Cruikshank (1792 - 1878)

Cruikshank was one of the most prolific illustrators and satirical artists working in England and often referred to as the 'modern Hogarth'. Born in London, a member of the Cruikshank family of caricaturists and artists. His father Isaac was a well-known engraver and caricaturist who taught him etching, watercolor, and drawing. In 1811 while George was still in his teens, he gained popular success with his series of political caricatures that he created for the periodical,The Scourge, a Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly. This publication lasted until 1816, during which time Cruikshank came to rival James Gillray, the leading English caricaturist of the preceding era. In fact, because their style was so similar as to be indistinguishable, Cruikshank was employed by Hannah Humphrey, James Gillray's publisher and landlady, to finish plates Gillray was too ill to complete. In the 1820's, Cruikshank began his book illustration period of his career with his most famous being for Charles Dickens's Sketches by Boz (1836) and Oliver Twist (1838). In the 1830's he began campaigning against the abuses of alcohol, especially gin. In 1847 he renounced all alcohol and became an enthusiastic supporter of the Temperance Society in Great Britain. Cruikshank produced a long series of pictures and illustrations, pictorial pamphlets and tracts for the Society. Cruikshank's crusade against the evils of alcohol culminated in The Worship of Bacchus,published by subscription and based on the artist's vast oil painting of the same name, now in the Tate Gallery in London. George conceived the idea for the painting during an 1859 weekly meeting of the Committee of the National Temperance League. He planned a "monumental painting depicting all phases of drunkenness, from beggar to lord and cradle to grave."He began the huge painting in 1860 and completed it in 1862.

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