The English George Cruikshank (1792-1878), born in London, son of the printmaker and draughtsman Isaac Cruikshank, learnt to use an etching needle before he was ten and did a large number of cartoons and book illustrations in his working life. More than 6,000 of his published works and thousands of pencil sketches and watercolours are now distributed throughout the world. In 1820 he started working with his brother Robert on Life in London , published in monthly parts. One of the series, Passing Events, or, The Tail of the Comet of 1853 , hand-coloured etching, is in the NLA Rex Nan Kivell Collection (reproduced NLA News September 1998, front and back covers). NLA also holds George’s hand-coloured engraving, Arms of the Greeks! as well as etchings by Isaac Cruikshank and Robert Cruikshank (both English).
Among subjects of Australian interest George designed and etched the long, narrow PROBABLEEFFECTS of OVERFEMALEEMIGRATION, or, Importing the Fair Sex from the Savage Islands in Consequence of Exporting all our own to Australia!!! (ML CRUIKSHANK V* CART 16). ML has a large collection of original Cruikshank cartoons, evidently drawn for the Comic Almanac .