La Promenade en Famille – a Sketch from Life

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In La Promenade en Famille, — a Sketch from Life (1797), “Sketch,” connotative of theatrical tableau, when taken “from life” alerts the viewer to a conflation of discrepant female roles, mother, lover and actress. Gillray here illustrates an inversion of traditional gender mores that this conflation of public and private personas allows. Dorothy Jordan defies domestic circumscription, wearing masculine riding gear and attending to her career while the Duke of Clarence is subordinated to the stereotypical feminine priority, attending to the children. The children’s early signs of behavioral disorder suggest the primacy of the private sphere in moral moral guidance by conveying the inversion’s societal threat: the children “will grow up to be as selfish and immoral as their mother” and a “liability on the royal family” (C. McCreery, Satirical Gaze 112).