image id: ps_prn_cd27_390
Unknown artist, after Henry Wigstead (d. 1793)
I’ll Tell You What!
[London]: Published by E. Jackson, 1790s?
NYPL, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, Print
Elizabeth Inchbald married a fellow-actor, found herself widowed young, and
instead of remarrying, prized her independence, which she maintained by scrupulous
attention to her reputation. Despite her efforts, Henry Wigstead satirically
portrays her living in squalor, with a bottle of gin and the Earl of Rochester’s
erotic poetry on the table, writing promotional “puffs” for her
own work. Highlighting Inchbald’s unusual solitude, the engraving suggests
the discomfort some Britons felt at seeing a woman living without masculine
protection. I’ll Tell You What! and Such Things Are are two of Inchbald’s