the political alphabet.jpg
the political alphabet.jpg
Political alphabet 1855.PNG
Political alphabet 1855.PNG


In his Political Alphabet, William Hone (with 31 drawings by George Cruikshank) was developing his use of new models for children's reading, into new tools to challenge the status quo..
Each letter has a rhyming couplet accompanied by an image and by a series of quotations from poets, writers and authorities that underlines the point Hone is making.

Hone's use of parody of the Book of Common Prayer, and the Order of Service had landed him in court for three trials of seditious libel and blasphemy, in which he had successfully defended himeslf in 1817. He subsequently expanded and developed his parodic and satiric methods, with the Political Alphabet being a bitter attack on the members and the repressive measures of the government - which repurposes various images from other publications and which was published in 1829/1830.
The use of the 'alphabet' proved a popular form of protest - as is evident in the 1855 version shown here and in C. J. Grant's published around the same time (with its own entry here)


Items Referencing this Item

Barricade Object
#27 A Political Alphabet Details
The illustrated pamphlet is a collection of satirical cartoons, targeting the corruption and scandals of the British establishment. Produced by popular cartoonist Charles Jameson Grant, this work is an example of the growing popularity of satirical pamphlets and satirical series in the nineteenth century.

It also draws inspiration from William Hone, who had published his own political alphabet in 1820.