Four elderly ladies sitting around a table gossiping; another woman listens from behind a curtain and looks rather shocked. Etching by George Cruikshank after EHL.
- L., E.H., active 1816-1817.
- Augt. 1st 1835
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About this work
One of the women reads a letter aloud; the others are so absorbed in it that they leave the tap on the tea-urn open so that the tea overflows the teapot. Above right is an overdoor painting of Cupid blindfolded and asleep On the left are some books considered suitable for "old maids". Far left, "The golden dream" (presumably: The golden dreamer, or, Dreams realised, containing the interpretation if a great variety of dreams, various editions, ca. 1800-1820?; some editions entitled The golden dreamer, or, Dreamers' interpreter: clearly showing how all things past, present, and to come, may be ascertained by means of dreams ; to which is added a correct signification of moles). Behind, "Sermons against the sin of lying", presumably a fictitious work by a popular preacher. Centre, "The history of a totoishell [tortoiseshell] male cat in 5 vols." (with a frontispiece portrait of a cat), associating elderly women with pet cats. Next towards right, "More's almanack", i.e. Old Moore's almanack, foretelling events of the coming year. Right, an issue of the newspaper The morning post
A curious junto of slandering elves. - or - List'ners seldom hear good of themselves. EHL del. G. Cruikshank sculp.
London (26 Haymarket) : Thos. McLean, Augt. 1st 1835.
1 print : etching ; image 23 x 33 cm
British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. IX, London 1949, no. 12923 (related plate with imprint of Hannah Humphrey, 1817)
Wellcome Library no. 33151i
The artist "EHL" appears to be unidentified. Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873) was a child prodigy, but this does not seem likely to be his work