Sensation No. 2. February 28, 1877. 27.5 x 20 cm
(click on images for larger views of these items)
Queen Victoria, as noted here, was subject to ridicule for her wide-ranging
loyalties to royal relations across the continent, especially
when two of more of them decided to go to war.
Her rumored "arrangement" with
John Brown is alluded to in this montage as well. The Queen is regularly referred to as
"Mrs. Brown" in penny titles in this collection.
Although Great Britain had the image of a ruling Queen, not only in their present, but in their golden Elizabethan past,
women were not included in the drive for "universal" suffrage during Victoria's reign.
When John Stuart Mill proposed female suffrage in an 1867 reform bill, the issue was overwhelmingly defeated.
was considered a "liberal radical," yet even he doubted the idea, though he voted for it. His concern was that
females would be swayed by "priestcraft."
Females were considered the bearers of morality in the home. This same burden
cast them as "unenlightened," and thus unable to vote as rational beings.
The Royal Titles Bill. Broadsheet. 28 x 43 cm.
The Royal Titles Act of 1876 declared Queen Victoria "Empress of
India." Princess Victoria, the queen's eldest daughter, was by this
time married to the heir of the newly minted German Empire (1871)
and therefore would hold a higher title than her mother. This, of course, would not do.
This broadsheet calls the Queen, by way of dedication, "An Ambitious and Avaricious Old Lady."
Any doubts about the sympathies of this illustrator are resolved by the unstaid posture of "Mrs. Brown."
"Gun Powder Plot. The Arrest of Guy Faux." Broadsheet. 50 x 62 cm.
Females could not vote, but they made useful symbols
for public opinion. Interestingly, "Mrs. Public Opinion"
is the only person with her back to the viewers.
This position, however, seems to fit a narrative in which Disraeli is paraded through the streets like an
effigy on Guy Fawkes Day while a citizen approaches from the sidewalk. She
remarks to "Mr. Policeman" (Gladstone), "Oh! Mr. Policeman I am glad you have him. He has been a nuisance."
The figures in the broadsheet, from left to right, are the Marquis of Hartington, Disraeli, Gladstone, Mrs. Public Citizen and