William Hogarth: Marriage A-la-Mode

(3131 words)

For Hogarth the narrative comic-history cycle, Marriage A-la-Mode, was a natural successor to A Rake’s Progress, published ten years earlier in 1735. Having shown the middle classes aping the extravagance of the aristocracy in the earlier cycle, he set about showing the aristocracy and middle classes conspiring in mutual selfishness and decadence in the later cycle. Nobleman and alderman, high and middle life, are equally ridiculed in Marriage A-la-Mode. The title refers to a marriage of convenience arranged by the parents of the groom and bride for the benefit, and profit, of the parents rather than their children. The series deals with the ‘progress’ of a husband and wife, the son of Earl …

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Gordon, Ian. "Marriage A-la-Mode". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 August 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12984, accessed 25 November 2015.]