‘Edward the First presenting his son as Prince of Wales.’ 1886. Chromolithographic version of a watercolour and coloured ink design produced around 1842. 5½ x 8 inches. This is one of several books published posthumously to cash-in on Doyle’s considerable reputation. The image represents the famous moment when Edward supposedly persuaded the Welsh nobility to accept his son as Prince of Wales because he was born in Wales. The scene shows that presentation at Caernarfon. Doyle differentiates the Welsh and Anglo-Norman English in terms of the contrast between the King’s rich attire and the primitive, gurning faces of the Welsh, who enthusiastically greet their new oppressor; in reality, the presentation was met with cheers extracted at sword’s point. It is an opportunity, however, for Doyle to experiment with a comedic style in which the emphasis is placed on caricature, with large expressive heads placed on diminutive bodies. The overall effect is cheerful and amusing, which is greatly assisted by the bright palette. This is Doyle’s child’s-eye view of politics, produced when he was just 16. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Photograph 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 photographer and (2) link to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.


Doyle, Richard. Comic English Histories: Scenes from English History. London: Pall Mall Gazette, 1886.

Created 10 September 2021