Charles Samuel Keene, The Cook on Darwin.
The Cook on Darwin. Cartoon by Charles Samuel Keene. 7 inches x 4,4 inches. Pencil, ink and opaque white. Art Mss.
The undated drawing by the famous Punch cartoonist (1823-1891) features a cook holding forth on Darwin. She has just passed a large poster bill of an ape posing under what could be an apple tree, right underneath another bill that announces: “Adam and Eve.” The caption written in ink on the reverse of the drawing reads: “Drat Them Noisy Darvinites. It’s hinfamous — I dont bleive its a bit like her!” Next to the bill are two prominent signs: “Stick No Bills!” Keene’s message is twofold: making us laugh at the cook’s simple-mindedness, he also highlights what some contemporaries saw as the absurdity of Darwin’s theory (Thomas Carlyle called Darwin’s theory a “gospel of dirt”).