The Death of Lord Kew

The Death of Lord Kew by Richard Doyle. 1½ x 3 inches. Wood-engraving by an unidentified engraver [probably Joseph Swain]. W. M. Thackeray,The Newcomes, I, 364.[Click on image to enlarge it.]

In this initial, the death of Lord Kew is mythologized by showing him, in parody of mid-Victorian medievalism, as a knight in armour. This mock-heroic strategy is used throughout the initials, commenting on the author's emphasis on contemporary society by likening the characters to heroes; it is also deployed to ridicule Pre-Raphaelite escapism, a subject mocked in several of Doyle's demented histories.

Scholars Programme

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.]


Thackeray, W.M. The Newcomes, 2 Vols. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1854-55.

Created 1 April 2017