Angling in Troubled Waters: A Serio-Comic Map of Europe
- Angling in Troubled Waters: A Serio-Comic Map of Europe
- Alternate Title:
- Angling in Troubled Waters
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Rose, Frederick W.
- Other Creators:
- Hewerdine, Matt. [Mathew Bede], artist; G. W. [George Washington] Bacon & Co., publisher
- Posted Date:
- ID Number:
- File Name:
- 1870 - 1899
Politics & Government
- 50 x 71 (centimeters, height x width)
- "The political turmoil of Europe as the twentieth century approaches is shown in this classic caricature map. Each country is portrayed as a fisherman, with their lines an allegory for their interference elsewhere, with the more successful with their catch in bags." Baynton-Williams 2006, 219; Baynton-Williams 2015, 192. A detailed "Reference" key on the map provides humorous commentary on the situation of each country. Some details might resonate today: John Bull having caught the crocodile of Egypt; France unable to hold its catch because of the struggle with Dreyfus; and Czar Nicolas II of Russia with his boots on Turkey and Eastern Europe.
The U. S. is nowhere named on the map, but two taut fishing lines and a gaff hook at the lower left show that it has landed the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico. On the other hand, "Spain, with scarcely a leg to stand upon, is brought to his knees, and has the chagrin to see his own takings hooked by a more skillful competitor, whose $20,000,000 gaff has just secured a specimen of piscis Philippinus."
Frederick Rose "crystallized, formalized and refined" the genre of European political cartoon maps (Barron 2008, 11), but for more than a century almost nothing was known about him apart from the importance of his work. Thanks to determined recent research, we now know quite a bit. See generally Worms 2014; Barron 2016b. Rose had a day job: he was a British civil servant for 42 years, rising to become the Deputy Principal Clerk in the Legacy Duty Office of the Inland Revenue at the time of his retirement. He supplemented his income with caricatures and articles for newspapers and journals. Barron 2016b, 16. He wrote two sensational novels, one about racy romantic affairs among the fashionable, the other about what we today would call a serial killer. Worms 2014. And he was a dedicated Tory from his teenage years, "forever affiliated to the Conservative cause" who maintained "a lifelong engagement with local Conservative political associations and organisations." Barron 2016b, 17. See also ID #2272, "Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877" (the "Octopus map").
Rose was a pioneer of "eye-catching cartographic curiosities," and one writer says that this map is "probably his masterpiece." Harwood 2006, 128. See also Hill 1978, 46-47; Goss 1993, 334-39. "Angling in Troubled Waters" was "hugely popular" (Baynton-Williams 2015, 192); this copy is from the "15th Thousand," and is titled not only in English, but in German, French and Italian. However, because it was printed on fragile paper, "very few examples survive today." Ibid.
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- Private Collection of PJ Mode
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