Palmerston and his rivals
in Politics personified
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This chapter shows how a highly favourable persona of Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, Liberal prime minister 1855-58, 1859-65, was projected through a range of visual media. It demonstrates how Palmerston's favourable image was strengthened through comparisons with his political rivals in the period between 1850 and his death in 1865. While images and popular portraits of William Ewart Gladstone have been noted by historians of popular liberalism, little or no attention has been given to the visual imagery associated with his contemporaries and predecessors. The chapter shows how these images were shaped by political developments and the visual technologies available. Comparisons and contrasts were frequently made in visual media, most notably cartoons, in ways that were to Palmerston's advantage. Presenting Palmerston in sporting roles, for example as a pugilist, was something that cartoons could do better than conventional, straight portraits.

Politics personified

Portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, c. 1830–80

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