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The Irish Vampire, 1885. Artist: John Tenniel

The Irish Vampire, 1885. Artist: John Tenniel


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The Irish Vampire, 1885. Artist: John Tenniel

The Irish Vampire, 1885. The Irish National League, with the face of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), shown as a vampire preying on Ireland. Cartoon from Punch. (London, 24 October 1885)

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Media ID 14844680

© Ann Ronan Picture Library / Heritage-Images

Allegorical Figure Allegory Charles Stewart Charles Stewart Parnell Defenceless Evil Helpless Ireland Irish Irish Home Rule John Tenniel Menace Menacing Parnell Propaganda Sir John Tenniel Tenniel Threatening Vampire Ann Ronan Pictures


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The Irish Vampire, 1885

EDITORS COMMENTS
is a powerful political cartoon created by John Tenniel during the late 19th century. The print depicts Charles Stewart Parnell, an influential Irish politician and leader of the Irish National League, as a menacing vampire preying on Ireland. This allegorical figure represents England's oppressive control over Ireland and serves as a scathing critique of British rule. Tenniel's engraving portrays Parnell with the face of a vampire, emphasizing his perceived evil intentions towards his own country. The image captures the helplessness and defencelessness of the Irish people under English dominance. Through this satirical caricature, Tenniel highlights the concept of propaganda in politics and exposes how power can corrupt even those who claim to fight for their nation's interests. The artist skillfully uses symbolism to convey his message; Parnell's vampiric portrayal suggests that he is draining Ireland's resources while benefiting himself. The woman depicted in the cartoon represents Ireland itself – fragile and at risk from external forces. This visual metaphor underscores England's exploitation of its neighboring country. "The Irish Vampire, 1885" remains an iconic piece that reflects both historical events and artistic expression from that era. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for independence faced by many nations throughout history and raises questions about power dynamics within political systems. Tenniel’s work continues to provoke thought on issues such as nationalism, imperialism, and resistance against oppression.

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