The Assault on Chalus
Hand-coloured wood engraving by the Dalziels
4¾ x 3½ inches
Titmarsh, M. A. [W. M. Thackeray],Rebecca and Rowena, facing 39.
One of silliest and funniest of Doyle’s designs, this mock-medieval pastiche combines distortions of scale, ridiculous facial expressions and frenetic activity to rich comedic effect. The burlesque is carried into the small details – notably the characters peering over the battlements like frightened children and the cod-heraldry of the lion on Richard’s helmet. However, the childish tone only half-conceals the violence of the moment, with the dead or dying strewn around like dolls.
Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.
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