Canvassing among the Rustics

Canvassing among the Rustics. Fun (18 November 1885): 224. Signed “AT” lower right. Courtesy of the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Click on image to enlarge it.

This liberal-leaning periodical shows one effect of the extension of the right to vote to almost the entire male working class: Tory candidates have to visit workers’s home and cuddle babies, the candidate’s sisters have to appeal to the countryman himself, and his son, who’s dressed as if he’s an Eton toff, smokes, walking arm in arm with the voter’s son — exactly the kind of fraternization of wealthier and poorer classes that the Victorian public school system worked so hard to avoid. Finally, the haughty local Anglican clergy, which earlier expected his parishioners to remove their hats and grovel before him, now “when the question of Disestablishment [of the Anglican church] is coming to the for, and the rural population have votes” doffs his hat and smiles at the two men who now stand upright. Finally, thanks to the “Corrupt Practices Act,” the locals no longer can be tempted to have their votes won by a candidate buying them drinks (or even making sure they are so drunk they can’t vote). — George P. Landow

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[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of Florida Library and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. — George P. Landow]

Last modified 12 May 2019