Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations


19 March 1870

In some 19th century British satirical magazines, ape-like facial features were employed to illustrate anarchists and nihilists, in order to personify visually political threats to order and stability. During periods of rural unrest in Ireland, however, the figures of simian and reptilian monsters became primarily attached to Irish agitators and peasants.  They were frequently drawn as variety of animals: skunks and snakes, pigs and toads, monkeys and gorillas.  A clear example is this caricature in Punch, 19 March 1870. An ape-like Irish agitator rages at Prime Minister Gladstone who protects the barefoot Hibernia, the classical name for Ireland.

Niall Whelehan, 'Revolting Peasants: Southern Italy, Ireland, and Cartoons in Comparative Perspective, 1860-1882’ in: International Review of Social History 60 (2015) 1-35.