September 16, 2020

Featured Source: The Old Story

The Old Story

Tenniel, John. “The Old Story.” 1884 Jan. 26. Cartoon Drawings: Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon. Summary: Proof for a published image in which a clothed wolf wearing a top hat labeled “Socialism,” carries the book Progress and Poverty by H. George in his coat pocket. Red Riding Hood stands beside him on a path in the forest. Notes: Inscribed below title: Red Riding Hood. (a bread-winner). “What large eyes you’ve got!” The Wolf. “All the better to see with, my dear!” She. “What a wonderful tongue you’ve got!!” He. “All the better to persuade you, my dear!” She. “But what great big teeth you’ve got!!!” He. “N’yum! N’yum!” (To himself) “All the better to eat you, my dear!”
The cartoon is a parody on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the published version was accompanied by a poem which warned the laborer of the dangers of socialism as personified by the wolf. It might been motivated by the formation of a group called the Fabian Society in January of 1884, and the increased interest in socialist doctrines as formulated in Henry George’s Progress and Poverty (1879) and Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (1867).
Published in: Punch, January 26, 1884.

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