Media File
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier
Date: British author, illustrator, 1834–1896
Biography: George Du Maurier (b. 1834–d. 1896), the celebrated Victorian cartoonist and novelist, is the author of Trilby (1894), the famous best seller widely considered to have changed the face of the late 19th-century publishing industry. He also wrote Peter Ibbetson (1891) and The Martian (published posthumously in 1897). He was the father of the acclaimed actor-manager Sir Gerald Du Maurier and grandfather of the popular novelist Dame Daphne Du Maurier. George Du Maurier is perhaps best known as the social cartoonist for Punch (a position he took in 1864 on the death of John Leech). His pictures of fashionable society, many set in drawing rooms and London clubs, satirize the fashions and manners of the Victorian social elite. They feature well-known characters including the vulgar nouveau-riche Sir Gorgius Midas and the ruthless social climber Mrs. Ponsonby de Tonkyns. Du Maurier also famously parodied the Pre-Raphaelites (1860s) and the aesthetic movement (1880s) in the pages of Punch. His satirization of the aesthetes brought forth the renowned characters Mrs. Cimabue Brown, a soulful aesthete, and her protégés, the Wildean types Maudle and Postlethwaite. Beyond Punch, Du Maurier’s artwork was featured in several other influential publications, including Once a Week and The Cornhill Magazine. He illustrated books by the great authors of his day, Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, and Henry James, to name but a few.