Le colera de Napoleon

description below

A Spanish version of Gillray’s 1803 satire ‘Maniac Raving’s-or-Little Boney in a Strong Fit’, the texts in the plate adapted to the Spanish relationship with France during the Peninsular War – after the invading French armies were defeated by the Spanish in Andalusia at the Battle of Bailen ‘Napoleon is frantic with rage at the news from Spain… He blames Godoy (whom he had made ‘Prince of the Algarves’) for deceiving him, apostrophizes Talleyrand, reproaches Dupont, and his second-in-command Vedel, for the capitulation of Baylen… his deceptions are discovered by the ‘perfidious Englishman’, probably Sir Hew Dalrymple, the Governor of Gibraltar’ (British Museum catalogue).

  • Title: Le colera de Napoleon [graphic].
  • Publication: [Spain] : [publisher not identified], [1808 or 1809?]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2023

The valley of the shadow of death

description below

“Napoleon, advancing down a gently sloping causeway of rock which traverses water and flames, is halted by ‘Leo Britannicus’ who bounds savagely towards him. He drops a short chain attached to the nose of the ‘Russian Bear’, a huge white creature at his heels. He is beset on all sides by monsters, who emerge from a background of flame, smoke, and cloud, or from the water. Beside the British Lion is a little ‘Sicilian Terrier’, barking ferociously. Death, a skeleton-like corpse, rides a mule which dashes through the air towards Napoleon, snorting flame. He wears a Spanish hat and cloak, and holds up a flaming spear and an hour-glass whose sands have almost run out. The mule’s trappings are inscribed ‘True-Royal-Spanish-Breed’. Outstripping the mule, a savage ‘Portuguese Wolf’, with the end of a broken chain attached to his collar, leaps towards Napoleon. The heads and hulders of two melancholy French officers with their necks chained together emerge from clouds to address Napoleon; they say: “Remember Junot and Remember Dupont.” Above these is the Pope’s tiara, the apex of flames, emitting thunderbolts towards Napoleon, and inscribed ‘Dreadful Descent of ye Roman Meteor’ [cf. BMSat 10970]. Immediately above Napoleon is a crescent moon inscribed ‘British-influence’ enclosing the old (dark) moon, which is ‘French Influence’. This forms the centre of a turban, and is surrounded with fiery clouds flanking the features of the Sultan, looking fiercely down at Napoleon. Blood drips from it. This is ‘The Turkish New-Moon, Rising in Blood’. Beside it (right) the head and arms of a man raising an enormous sword above Napoleon emerge from swirling flames: The ‘Spirit of Charles ye XII’ [of Sweden 1682-1718]. On the r. a double-headed Habsburg eagle swoops towards Napoleon from clouds: “- The Imperial Eagle emerging from a Cloud.” Its collar is inscribed ‘German Eagle’. From the water beyond Napoleon’s causeway, the ‘Ditch of Styx’, project the crown and hands of the drowning ‘Rex Joseph’; he is immediately under the Spanish mule ridden by Death. The water on the nearer side of the causeway, in the foreground, is the ‘Lethean Ditch’. From this (left) rats crawl towards Napoleon: “The Rhenish Confederation of Starved Rats, crawling out of the Mud [cf. British Museum Satires No. 10433].” Three frogs raise their heads from the ditch to spit: “Dutch-Frogs spitting out their spite.” A rattle-snake spits venom, and shakes its tail: “- American Rattle-Snake shaking his Tail.-” On the right, standing on a rock, is a dilapidated eagle with clipped wings, and scanty feathers: “Prussian Scare-Crow attempting to Fly -.””–British Museum online catalogue.


  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: The valley of the shadow of death [graphic] / Js. Gillray invt. & ft.
  • Publication: [London] : Publish’d Septr. 24th, 1808, by H. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s Street, London, [24 September 1808]

Catalog Record


Acquired January 2020

The political blind-buff man, or, The minist-l expediency

“Four men stand on the sea-shore, in back view but looking to the right: the King of Prussia stands between Holland (left) and Pitt (right); he holds Holland by the ear and kicks Pitt behind, saying, “This is the balance of Europe”. Pitt, who is blindfolded, says, “yes I’ll maintain it”; he holds out in each hand a naming fire-brand to two towns on the right, ‘Cronstadt’ and ‘Rerel’ [sic]. The whole district is in flames, and there are four other burning cities (one ‘Riga’); the flames and smoke from all six merge and are inscribed ‘Russia’, ‘Poland’, ‘Germany’, ‘Austria’. The sea which stretches between Pitt and the burning cities is the ‘Baltic’. On it is a boat containing four men: the helmsman says, “I would rather be a Baltic trader”; the two oarsmen say, “Do not mind it, it will bring other wars” and “No prize money”; a man looking through a telescope says, “No Galeons – Storms, Sholas & Rocks.” A man standing on the shore shouts to the boat “nothing good to be got by it.” Frederick William, who wears crown, military uniform, and jack-boots, conceals behind him, half thrust into his coat-pocket, a paper: ‘Danzic & Thorn’. Holland, a fat burgher, is smoking; he says “What a blessed Alliance”. In his right hand is a paper: ‘pyg–t O I hope all dis vill end in a Smoke.’ The fourth man, who stands on the extreme left, is a British citizen who scowls as he reads a newspaper inscribed ‘The Trade of the Baltic Lost – New Taxes Malt – Porter’. Across the sky stretches a large scroll inscribed ‘The Cause of the War’; from it is suspended a tiny medallion: ‘Ocsakow’.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • CreatorByron, Frederick George, 1764-1792, attributed name.
  • Title: The political blind-buff man, or, The minist-l expediency [graphic].
  • PublicationLondon : Pubd. April 1791 by W. Holland, No. 50 Oxford St., [April 1791]

Catalog Record


Acquired May 2017