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Marie Duval : Victorian Comix Creatrix
18 March 2016 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST| £10
LONDON| Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure. An entertaining illustrated talk that examines the work of Marie Duval – one of the most unusual, pioneering and boisterous cartoonists of the nineteenth century. Presented by Dr Simon Grennan, Professor Roger Sabin and Dr Julian Waite: all are scholars in the fields of drawing, media history and performance. They will focus on Duval’s maverick and free-wheeling approaches to fashion, tourism and the stage, drawing on the new Marie Duval Archive, which launches this month.
Who is Marie Duval?
Isabelle Émilie de Tessier (1847 – 1890?) was an actress, cartoonist and illustrator—born in Marylebone, London—who worked under the pseudonyms ‘Marie Duval’, ‘Noir’ and ‘S.A. The Princess Hesse Schwartzbourg’.
Her work first appeared in a variety of the cheap British penny papers and comics of the 1860s – 1880s. An actress as well as a cartoonist, she lived and worked in a London environment of music halls and unlicensed theatres, sensational plays, serials, novels and comic journals. Her drawing style was theatrical, untutored and introduced many techniques that only became common in much later cartooning.
Between March 1869 and July 1885, Duval drew hundreds of comic strip pages and vignettes for the magazine Judy or the London serio-comic journaland spin-off compilations, focusing on the humour, attitudes, urbanity and poverty of the types of people she knew.
Her masterstroke was the development of the character Ally Sloper, a ne’er-do-well London ‘everyman’, resulting in dozens of strips that were collected into books. Under her influence, Sloper was to become the comedy icon of his age.
The Marie Duval Archive
Simon Grennan, Roger Sabin and Julian Waite are scholars in the fields of drawing, media history and performance and are the creators of the Marie Duval Archive.
Dr Simon Grennan is Research Fellow in Fine Art.
Dr Julian Waite is Senior Lecturer Performing Arts at the University of Chester.
Roger Sabin is Professor in Popular Culture at Central Saint Martins.
Their Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project to bring the work of Marie Duval to public view includes the new free online archive, a touring exhibition and two books, forthcoming this year and next. They gratefully acknowledge the support of partners Guildhall Library and Illustrative Festival Berlin.