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11th Nov 2009

Henry Brocas and “The Loves of the Fox and the Badger”

When writing my history of pre-20th century Irish comics, I came across an article called “The Brocas Family, Notable Dublin Artists” by P. J. Raftery from the journal Dublin Historical Record Vol 17 issue 1 in 1958.  It said of Henry Brocas, who I’d already discovered drew cartoons of British atrocities during the 1798 rebellion for the Irish Magazine in the early 1800s:

One of the earliest efforts of Henry Brocas, Senior, was a political
caricature ” The Loves of the Fox and the Badger
” a rude
etching, which was published in ” Exshaw’s Magazine
” for 1784.

One of the earliest efforts of Henry Brocas, Senior, was a political caricature ” The Loves of the Fox and the Badger” a rude etching, which was published in “Exshaw’s Magazine” for 1784.

I’ve since come across a cartoon of the same name and date, credited to the British caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson – and the only online copy of it I’ve found bears Rowlandson’s signature.

However, another source, a catalogue of items in Princeton University Library, credits it to Brocas. Perhaps there are two cartoons of the same name, one by Rowlandson and one by Brocas. Perhaps Brocas did a copy, or Rowlandson drew it and Brocas engraved it – Brocas was, after all, an engraver. I don’t know. I’ve added a caveat to the article, and would welcome any correction by anyone knowledgeable on the subject who might be reading.

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