Book #70498
The Female Agent, 13-1/4" x 9-1/2" hand-colored etching. London, 1809. Charles Williams, Mary Anne Clarke.

The Female Agent, 13-1/4" x 9-1/2" hand-colored etching. London, 1809.

"For My Master is Noble and I am His Clarke Sir" [Williams, Charles (d. 1830)]. [Clarke, Mary Anne (c.1776-1852)]. The Female Agent. [London]: Walker, No. 7 Cornhill, March 1809. 13-1/4" x 9-1/2" hand-colored etching with etched verse, 5-3/4" x 8-3/4" image above title and 21 lines of verse, in three stanzas, framed by rows of fat purses tied to long pikes. Light even toning, top-edge trimmed somewhat close to head of image. Few minor stains to margins, a few negligible tiny spots to image. $750. * The Female Agent is a satirical account of one of the great scandals of Hanoverian period. In 1806 it was discovered that Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the army commander-in-chief, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany [1763-1827], was selling commissions for personal profit, presumably with Frederick's cooperation. Investigated by Parliament, Frederick was exonerated. He resigned his post, however, because a large minority voted against him. In this print Clarke, seated on a drum upon a dais dressed in military regalia and holding a sword aloft, is receiving a group of unfit applicants for commissions. She is surrounded by soldiers, including one holding a Union Jack featuring the white horse of Hanover, an allusion to Frederick, a member of the House of Hanover. The end of the first verse reads: "A Warehouse I keep for the sale of Commissions, And our Prices you'll find will suit all conditions, You'll be treated with Honor if you secrecy mark Sir, For my Master is Noble and I am his Clarke Sir." British Museum Satires 11265.

Price: $750.00

Book number 70498

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