The Folly of Crime

The Folly of Crime

John Leech

Steel-plate etching by Cruikshank

8 x 5½ inches

George Cruikshank’s Table Book, facing 45.

This is a prime example of Cruikshank’s Hogarthian moralizing, with the fate of a man stupid enough to pursue a life of crime mapped out in a series of narrative compartments. The artist uses a pungent imagery, dressing the character in a clown’s costume when he commits his felonies and as a convict burdened with a coffin-shaped sentence, spending his time in prison on the treadmill, in wretched isolation or in chains.[See below for commentary.]

Click on image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.

Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]