HB No Go


“Illustration of the Elegant & Expressive Phrase of ‘It’s No Go!'” 11 June 1831. George, 16729. Trimmed just to top neatline.

John Bull, representing the British people, catches Lord John Russell exiting an orchard with apples labelled “10 Pounds.” The apples represent the ten pound householder franchise that the moderates were trying to place back into the political process. John Charles Spencer (later the third Earl Spencer) fulfills his mollifying role in Parliament by suggesting that Russell call the theft “inadvertent.” Trevelyan, plate 19. Satire lithographed and designed by John Doyle (1797-1867). Folio. Thomas McLean, 1829-49. From his series Political Sketches. Each with a blind stamp indicating that it is a “subscriber’s copy.”

SKU: 30-1312 Categories: ,


By writing his initials twice-over, John Doyle manipulated the letters to create the pseudonym signature “HB”. Born in Catholic Dublin, HB arrived in London in 1821, after the death of James Gillray. Thomas Rowlandson had aged, as well, and with him the era of biting, pointed caricature in London. As HB began his career, he introduced a gentler sort of satire, making soft jokes calculated to avoid strong offence. Rather than exaggerating physical features and pushing the bawdy laugh, Doyle employed reasonable likenesses with circumstantial humor. Even the subtle, sketchy appearance of his lithography marked a change from the loose, brash lines of colored etchings, a medium that had dominated caricature printing for the previous half-century.