The Parting of the Ways

The Parting of the Ways. Wallis Mackay. Fun 58 (29 September 1893): 242. Source: Hathi Digital Library Trust web version of a copy in the University of Minnesota library. Click on image to enlarge it.

The artist depicts Gladstone saying farewell to England in the form of John Bull and heading into a wasteland of what the road sign announces to be “Home Rule,” “Separation,” and “Ruin.” A raven or a vulture perches on the road sign, and a man with a firearm stands partially hidden in the brush as a corpse lies upon the ground. In contrast, John Bull and the jester who represents the magazine head toward “Unionism,” “Peace,” and “Prosperity” as Fun gestures in the direction of what seems to be Windsor Castle, one of whose turrets flies the Union Jack. Most of the full-page editorial cartoons about Home Rule in Fun appear with the monogram of John Gordon Thomson, but this one, which incidentally makes Gladstone look much older than the others, is by an illustrator who succeeded Thomson —  Wallis McKay. Did the magazine switch artists because the person who did the earlier ones was so firmly in favor of Home Rule? — George P. Landow

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Last modified 4 February 2016