Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Beer Street

William Hogarth created this print called Beer Street during what is known as the London Gin Craze of 1751. Beer here is celebrated as a healthy diversion for the working class, standing in contrast to gin, which was at the time associated with alcoholism, thievery and prostitution. Henry Fielding wrote an accompanying verse:

Beer, happy Produce of our Isle Can sinewy Strength impart, And wearied with Fatigue and Toil Can cheer each manly Heart. Labour and Art upheld by Thee Successfully advance, We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee And Water leave to France. Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste Rivals the Cup of Jove, And warms each English generous Breast With Liberty and Love!

No comments: