By the end of the century, mechanical improvements made the printing of engravings much cheaper and a huge market had developed for all sorts of prints, including caricatures, especially hand-coloured ones. In 1815, David Robarts, a former officer who had served in the Peninsular War, published a satirical poem The Military Adventures of Johnny Newcome. It was embellished with fifteen coloured sketches by T Rowlandson, a leading artist and caricaturist of the day. Where previous illustrations had been straightforward, black and white depictions of pivotal scenes, Rowlandson matched his drawings to Robarts’ satire. Here we see our hero present the trophies from the Peninsula to the Prince Regent.
Then sudden starting from his stare/ He cry'd "where is my daughter-where?"
Here!" Ellen cry'd-"banish all fear!/ "Your happy, long-lost girl is here!
Life in London was another best-seller and, as with Johnny Newcome, it was quickly succeeded by a series of books looking to capitalize on Egan’s success. Foremost among these was Real Life in London, described as by An Amateur but later ascribed to Egan. Below: Ascot Races - Tom and Bob winning the long odds from a knowing one.
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