This is Plate X1, 'A Cheerful Picnic in King Rowdedowses His Tomb', of Lady Dufferin's Lispings from Low Latitudes, 1863. 6½ x 7½ of. Wood engraving by an unknown engraver. This is one of the author's ridiculous scenes, satirizing British tourists who observe the leisure rituals of home in inappropriate foreign settings, apparently with no sense of incongruity and no regard for the offence they might cause to the natives. Dufferin deploys a familiar satirical language of caricatures combined with situational comedy: the tourists tuck in to their meal, surrounded by the funerary art of the pharaohs, their modern utensils and portable plates creating a comic dissonance with ancient signs of Egyptian culture. The effect is heighted by an accompanying text, also by the artist, who notes with no apparent sense of irony of how much she respects King Rowdedowses. The ironic joking was noted by a large and appreciative audience, however, and the book was well received by the reviewers. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

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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 photographer and (2) link to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. Click on image to enlarge it


Lady Dufferin [Helen Blackwood]. Lispings from Low Latitudes. London: Murray, 1863.

Created 12 May 2020