Dame rat, and her poor little ones

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James Gillray
Dame rat, and her poor little ones
[London] : Publish'd March 26th 1782 by J. Browning, Oxford Street, [1782]
etching, hand colored
image: 193 x 275 mm; sheet: 219 x 287 mm
Peel 2378
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

By James Gillray.
Library's copy trimmed within plate mark.


Print shows Lord Hertford, Lord Chamberlain since 1766, with his wife, five sons and two daughters, who are making obsequious overtures to Charles Fox, the central figure of the design. Hertford stands stiffly in profile to the left, his staff of office in his hand. His wife and children all have rat's heads. Fox, with a fox's head, strolls past the family ignoring their advances, and turning his back on Lady Hertford. She has her right hand on her husband's arm, and turns to her left to address Fox, saying "Happy to see you on Monday Mr. Reynard". The scene is an open rectangular space with buildings on the right and at the back, perhaps a free rendering of one of the courts of St. James's Palace.

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