Simon Grennan

Chapter 2 considers how Duval subverted the established nineteenth-century idea that employment was masculine and brutalising by inhabiting and then manipulating the gap between supported middle-class women and working-class women manual and service workers. It suggests that her stage career allowed her to develop complex metaphors in print, highlighting the mutability of gender and significance of clothing. Duval emerges as a flâneuse wandering through the pages of the popular publications of her time.

in Marie Duval
Simon Grennan

Chapter 6 describes the conditions in which Duval’s drawings were drawn, produced and read. It navigates Duval’s contemporaries, who had a critical stance on her work despite its clear popular appeal, defining her work in a very subtle way as ‘vulgar’. The chapter goes on to demonstrate the complex nature of Duval’s comic achievement, through a close examination of her parodies of various artworks displayed at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1880 and 1876.

in Marie Duval
Simon Grennan

Chapter 5 considers the nature of the journalistic workplace Duval found herself in, including an analysis of the processes of periodical publishing in general. It focuses on wood-block engraving technology and the role of the journalist in the publishing industry in particular. This allows for reflections on the significance of gender and class in nineteenth-century employment.

in Marie Duval
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Maverick Victorian Cartoonist

Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian cartoonist offers the first critical appraisal of the work of Marie Duval (Isabelle Émilie de Tessier [1847–90]), one of the most unusual, pioneering and visionary cartoonists of the later nineteenth century.

Taking a critical theory approach, the book discusses key themes and practices of Duval’s vision and production, relative to the wider historic social, cultural and economic environments in which her work was made, distributed and read. It identifies Duval as an exemplary radical practitioner in an urban media environment, in which new professional definitions were being created, and in which new congruence between performance, illustration, narrative drawing and novels emerged. The book divides into two sections: Work and Depicting and Performing, interrogating the relationships between the developing practices and the developing forms of the visual cultures of print, story-telling, drawing and stage performance. On one hand, the book focuses on the creation of new types of work by women and gendered questions of authorship in the attribution of work, and on the other, the book highlights the style of Duval’s drawings relative to both the visual conventions of theatre production and the significance of the visualisation of amateurism and vulgarity. The book pays critical attention to Duval the practitioner and to her work, establishing her as a unique but exemplary figure in the foundational development of a culture of print, visualisation and narrative drawing in English, in a transformational period of the nineteenth century.

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Simon Grennan, Roger Sabin, and Julian Waite
in Marie Duval