The Corsican Pest, from a collection of material relating to the fear of a French invasion

Print/Image

Description

English

The Corsican Pest is one of the best-known images by engraver and satirist James Gillray, whose substantial body of over 1,000 images includes a large number of works depicting Napoleonic France. Here Gillray is at his scatological best. Napoleon is depicted skewered on the prongs of a roasting fork held by Beelzebub, surrounded by devilish imps who protect their noses from his offensive emanations. Napoleon is consigned to everlasting flames for his murderous campaigns in Europe and for harbouring avaricious imperial ambitions. According to the text, Napoleon possesses more evil than the Devil himself, corrupt to his very ‘marrow and bones’ and wicked from his ‘head to his toes’.

Images such as this were part of a substantial body of loyal, anti-French literature that circulated in Britain at the time of the Napoleonic wars deploring the fate of European nations. The imperial aspirations of Napoleon quickly generated a solid loyal response in Britain, with many ordinary men called to arms to defend the nation from French invasion.

Full title
The Corsican Pest from [Loyal and patriotic hand-bills, songs, addresses, etc. on the threatened invasion of Great Britain by Buonaparte.]
Published
estimated 1803 , probably London
Format
Print / Image
Creator
James Gillray
Held by
British Library
Usage Terms
Free from known copyright restrictions
Shelfmark
650.a.12.(41.)

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