Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Gin Lane: Some Thoughts


I saw this engraving by Hogarth at the Foundling Museum the other day.  Not the original:  It was a copy reproduced on one of the display boards.  As you can see, in the early 18th century gin wasn't quite the artisan product that the marketeers are trying to sell it  as today.  No rhubarb infused loveliness served with Fevertree tonic.  Just good old flavoured ethanol to self-medicate away misery.

Despite the horror this picture portrays my reaction when I saw it was hopefulness for our own times. For despite the fact that there are still pockets of abject suffering we have come a long way.  Babies are not routinely abandoned, bodies are not hanging from gibbets and we do not have to avoid a pissy shower thrown from the windows above when walking down the street.  Sure there's still much work to do and setbacks as well but maybe the world evolves into being a better place - in spite  of what those constant news reports that in the main, I'm still managing to avoid tell us.

4 comments:

  1. There is so much to see in that engraving . I would love to have it explained to me bit by bit ! ( I expect I could " look it up" on tinternet.)

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    1. Fascinating isn't it? I didn't do history qualifications because of the focus of the syllabus on wars and politics. Love social history though.xx

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  2. I remember studying his Rake's Progess when I did my degree. He was a social commentator of his day and it was good to see he was one of the patrons of the hospital wasn't it. Smashing dayx
    Arilx

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    1. Yes it was great. I didn't really know about him a lot before. Thanks for a great day. xx

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