'The Empress's wish or Boney Puzzled!!' (caricature)


A satire on Napoleon’s frustration and anger at British superiority and strength in the naval war. Playing, by now very conventionally, upon his diminutive stature, it shows him glowering on the rampart of a coastal fort at the prospect of his fleet at harbour below, blockaded by a single British ship in the distance. The noticeably taller Empress looks down at him, pointing with a spyglass at the British vessel, and says, ‘My Dear Little Great Emperor of Kings, Nations & Princes your Majesty has often promised to me – that if ever I longed, or wished, or had a Desire for any thing in all the world, it would be got immeadiatly – I do not wish to put your Highness to such a proof of your Love I only wish you to send out and bring me dat Little Ship with the Blue Flag, that lays at Anchor?’ At this Napoleon is perplexed, since it is the one request he is unable to grant.

Object Details

ID: PAD4784
Collection: Fine art
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Johnston, J.; Cruikshank, Isaac
Date made: Published 9 August 1810
Exhibition: Broadsides! Caricature and the Navy 1775–1815
People: Bonaparte, Napoleon; Josephine, Empress
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 250 mm x 363 mm; Platemark: 245 mm x 352 mm; Frame: 450 mm x 602 mm x 40 mm; Mount: 250 mm x 350 mm

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