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''The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,' - ie - the wits of the age, setting the table in a roar'

12 of 35 portraits of Michael Angelo Taylor

''The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,' - ie - the wits of the age, setting the table in a roar', by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey, published 4 February 1797 - NPG D12596 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

''The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,' - ie - the wits of the age, setting the table in a roar'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 4 February 1797
9 3/4 in. x 13 7/8 in. (249 mm x 354 mm) plate size; 10 1/4 in. x 14 3/8 in. (260 mm x 366 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12596


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sittersback to top

Artistsback to top

  • James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
  • Hannah Humphrey (active 1778-1822), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 718 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

Placesback to top

Events of 1797back to top

Current affairs

The Anti-Jacobin periodical makes its debut followed by The Anti-Jacobin Review the year after. Edited by William Gifford, it acted as a Tory mouthpiece against the 'New Morality' associated with republicanism. Bank crisis results in the temporary suspension of payments by the Bank of England leading to a nationwide currency shortage.

Art and science

Robert Southey, later Poet Laureate, publishes his collected Poems, exploring contemporary interest in mythology and non-European cultures. Ann Radcliffe publishes her popular gothic novel The Italian. One of the most imaginative novelists of the period, she helped introduce readers to the romantic sense of the supernatural.

International

Battle of Cape St Vincent. Admiral John Jervis leads the fleet which defeat the Spanish. Failure of a small French invasion in Pembrokeshire. Naval mutinies at Spithead and Nore. Attack on the Canary Islands in which Rear-Admiral Nelson loses an arm.

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