Mary Dorothy George

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M Dorothy George
Mary Dorothy George

1878 (1878)
Died1971 (1972) (aged 93)
London, England
Known forHistorian

M Dorothy George (1878–1971), née Gordon, was a British historian best known for compiling the last seven volumes of the Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, the primary reference work for the study of British satirical prints of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [1]. Educated at Cambridge University she graduated in 1899 with a first class degree in History[2]. During the first World War she worked in British Intelligence for MI5[2]; before returning to academia as a research scholar at the London School of Economics.

George's work on the BM Satires, begun in 1930 on the invitation of the Museum Trustees[2] [3], was a massive work of great scholarship[2] that systematised a large corpus of previously undocumented source material and recorded its complex historical context. Her work covered over 13,000 prints from the "golden age" of British satirical printmaking and its leading artists such as Matthew Darly, James Sayers, Robert Dighton, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, Isaac Cruikshank, Richard Newton. Charles Williams, William Heath, Isaac Robert Cruikshank and George Cruikshank, and many others. The catalogue entries were scanned as part of the British Museum's ongoing digitalisation project of its collections [4] and provide the basis for many of the entries on the British Museum on-line catalogue.


  • George, M Dorothy (1935–1954). Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. vols 5 (1935) to 11 (1954). British Museum.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  • George, M Dorothy (1928). England in Johnson's Day.
  • George, M Dorothy (1931). England in Transition: Life and Work in the Eighteenth Century. Routledge.
  • George, M Dorothy (1959). English Political Caricature. 2 Vols. Oxford University Press.
  • George, M Dorothy (1964). London Life in the Eighteenth Century.
  • George, M Dorothy (1967). Hogarth to Cruikshank: Social Change in Graphic Satire. Viking.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pottle, Mark (2004). "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004: George née Gordon, (Mary) Dorothy(1878–1971)". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/45657.
  2. ^ a b c d Dictionary of National Biography. ibid.
  3. ^ Baker, James (2019-02-26). Mary Dorothy George (Speech). Defining Curatorial Voice seminar. University of Sussex. As recorded in a note by Cambell Dodgson 12th July 1930 at a meeting of the British Museum Board of Trustees; see Vol 62, July 12 1930 British Museum Archive
  4. ^ Griffiths, Antony (2010). "Collections Online: The Experience of the British Museum". Master Drawings. 48 (Autumn2010): 356–367. JSTOR 25767237.