Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Item of the Day: Hogarth Moralized (1768)

Full Title:

Hogarth Moralized. Being a Complete Edition of Hogarth's Works. Containing near fourscore copper-plates, most elegantly engraved : with an explanation, pointing out the many beauties that may have hitherto escaped notice, and a comment on their moral tendency : calculated to improve the minds of youth, and, convey instruction, under the mask of entertainment : now first published, with approbation of Jane Hogarth, widow of the late Mr. Hogarth.

Commentary by John Trusler. With advertisement, preface, index. London: S. Hooper and Mrs. Hogarth, 1768.

From the description of Harlot's Progress:

IN this age, when wickedness is in search, to entrap the unwary; and, man, that artful deceiver, racking his invention, for wiles to delude the innocent, and, rob them of their virtue; it is, more particularly, necessary, to warn the rising generation, of the impending danger; lay before the female world, the perils they are exposed to; open to their view, a sight of that wretchedness, that will, inevitably, be the consequence of their misconduct; and, by a timely admonition, prevent, if possible, the irrevocable misfortunes attendant on a life of prostitution, brought on by falling, perhaps, in an unguarded moment. This was the design of Hogarth, in the history of the Harlot before us, in the prosecution of which, he has, minutely, pictured out the most material scenes of her life, from the time, of her fall from virtue, to the hour of her death; a history full of such interesting circumstances, as must, certainly, give the unthinking maid, a sense of her danger, and, alarm her, lest she, also, becomes a prey to man.

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