The OP War, Libertarian Communication and Graphic Reportage in Georgian London

in European Comic Art
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  • 1 University of Kent j.w.baker@kent.ac.uk
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On 18 September 1809, Covent Garden Theatre reopened, lavishly decorated after the devastating fire of the previous year. Far from being an occasion of celebration, an increase in prices and the architectural redistribution raised the ire of London's theatregoers, sparking months of sustained protest. Known as the Old Price riots, these protests received widespread attention in the metropolitan press. They also prompted various responses from London's satirical print trade. This article will explore the output of these two publicly facing media with respect to the Old Price riots as means of examining the differing processes of reportage they functioned within. It will argue that despite operating on a 'virtual' plane of reportage, that during the Old Price riots graphic satire escaped the confines of its virtuality and became an active agent in Georgian anti-authoritarian protest.

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