Stone Blind

Stone Blind. Fun (19 April 1873): 170. Possibly by John Gordon Thomson (1841-1911) since the monogram at lower right seems close to his. . Courtesy of the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Click on image to enlarge it

Shoe Black: —“That swell giv’ me a tanner for the job, Sam: see the jules on ’s fingers?”

Sam: — “No!”

S.B: — “Ah! yer oughter, he was a gem-’an — he was!”

This cartoon by the artist who signed his work with the monogram "TC" (or "CT") did many of the magazine’s finest full-page political cartoons. Several things in this cartoon invite comment, the first of which is that this is one of the very few in fun that does not mock the Swell, the would-be gentleman with traces of the dandy (such as the moustaches here) but who often reveals his lower-class origins by his pronunciation. Second, note the play on the contested notion of gentleman — or gem-’an — whose meaning changed dramatically throughout the Victorian years. Third, note that the poor sweep, who seems to be blind, has no shoes. — George P. Landow

Related material

[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.]

Last modified 28 February 2016