Gin Lane Gazette

By Adrian Teal

Heat magazine – 18th century style

History | Humour
112% funded
440 supporters

Publication date: November 2014

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Many of us think of the ill-behaved celebrity and the tabloid splash as inventions of the modern world, but the antics of Premiership footballers and C-list soap stars are as nothing when set alongside the peccadilloes and hell-raising of 18th-century celebs.

The first flowering of the great age of newspapers and caricature gave us boozy Prime Ministers and party leaders who settled their political differences with duels in Hyde Park (when they weren’t gambling, or writing essays about farting); peers of the realm who sat the unburied corpses of their cherished mistresses at their dinner tables; entertainers who rode horses standing upright in the saddle, while wearing a mask of bees; and celebrity courtesans who ate 1,000-guinea banknotes stuffed into sandwiches, simply to make a point. Before it was dashed from their lips by the Victorian party-poopers, our Georgian forebears drank deep from the cup of life.

The GIN LANE GAZETTE will be a compendium of illustrated 'best bits' from a fictional newspaper of the latter 1700s. It will contain some of the most sensational headlines and true stories of the period. The presses will be presided over by inky-fingered hack Mr. Nathaniel Crowquill, the editor and proprietor, whose premises are located in Hogarth’s chaotic Gin Lane, and who has devoted fifty years to sniffing out scandal and intrigue. His drunken acolyte, Mr. Jakes, supplies merciless caricatures and engravings for every page. Sports reports, obituaries, fashion news, courtesans of the month, book reviews, and advertisements for bizarre - and often alarming – goods, services and entertainments will also feature in a riotous mélange of metropolitan mayhem.

I have spent fifteen years producing cartoons for clients such as the Sunday Telegraph, History Today and QI, and hope to give you an authentic flavour of the exuberance, debauchery, bravery, inventiveness, and eccentricity which characterise the Georgian world.

Prithee honour this beguiling Endeavour, apt to adorn any ATHENAEUM of the Annals of Ages, with YOUR WORSHIPS’ most gracious Patronage.


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1st edition hardback copy of the book with your name in the back, and a copy of the ebook.

  • Adrian Teal avatar

    Adrian Teal

    As an ankle-biter, I used to get under everyone’s feet at the Spitting Image Workshop, receiving tuition from the head caricaturist with the kind forbearance of the show’s creators, Roger Law, Peter Fluck, and TV comedy guru John Lloyd.

    I paid my way through university by freelancing for various clients – including Madness – before setting up as a full-time cartoonist in 1996. At first, I concentrated mainly on work for commercial clients such as UBS, Jongleurs, and Anglia TV, and I even originated a line of sculpted, celebrity-caricature garden ornaments, which enjoyed a brief vogue.

    In around 2001, I began to focus on political caricature, and cartooned for publications such as the Sunday Telegraph, the Scotsman, The Times Educational Supplement, Time Out, the Sun, and the Daily Mail.

    In 2008, Fate pushed me back into the path of John Lloyd, and I produced a cover and wrote/illustrated historical spreads for various QI Annuals. This, coupled with a regular cartoon slot for History Today, set me thinking about the possibilities of popular history, and the The Gin Lane Gazette idea was born.

    You can see an online portfolio of my work here I’m also on Twitter as @adeteal, and you can view my caricature posts here

  • I am pleas’d to record that the great volume of Advertisements, plac’d in the pages of my Gazette by tradesmen, merchants, & Mountebanks, generated much welcome Revenue, & led happily to a renew’d acquaintance with Dr. SHINSAW. My erstwhile Mentor had left His Majesty’s Service, & establish’d himself as a Physician in our City, selling to our Patrons his Nostrum for Venereal Taints - known as Shinsaw’s Sovereign ELECTUARY - via our Gin-Lane premises. This prov’d a most lucrative Bargain.

  • Adrian Teal has written 18 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    18th October 2014 Soft, Strong, and Thoroughly Absorbing.

    Hello, all. I am return'd from the Colonies, where I was telling our American cousins all about their own history via the gift of caricature. You can see what it was all about here, if you're interested:

    Any way, enough of that. This is a short blast on the promo horn to let you all know that the paperback version of The Gin Lane Gazette will…

    11th April 2014 Transvestitism & Dentistry.

    Hello again, all. I thought I'd give you fair warning of a talk I'm giving on 3rd July at the charming St Pancras Old Church. I'll be telling you all about two 18th-century foreign gentlemen, who graced the pages of my Gin Lane Gazette. They are the celebrity dentist and freemason, the Chevalier Ruspini, and the transvestite French spy and swordsman, the Chevalier d'Eon. The latter was such a good…

    6th March 2014 Lewdness in the Library.

    Hello, all. I'm stopping by briefly to tell you that I have another Gin Lane Gazette gig coming up, this time at Hornchurch Library on 27th March. Here are the details: I hope some of you will see fit to venture into the wilds of Havering for another lively disquisition on Georgian lewdness.

    I'd like to thank Unbound's and …

    17th January 2014 History with Punch

    Hello, all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I thought it was about time that I checked you aren’t all pining pitifully for me. Also, I have some shameless plugging to do…

    Firstly, and after a Herculean effort by assiduous, tecchie menials at Unbound, the Kindle edition of Gin Lane Gazette is now available. You’ve all been incredibly patient, and very kind in not burning me in effigy because of…

    30th October 2013 Georgian Hallowe'en Quiz Questions

    Can you guess all of the answers to my quiz? Be one of the first three people to enter correctly in the comments below and you could win a copy of the Gin Lane Gazette.


    1. Which ghost-busting man of letters investigated the fraudulent ghost ‘Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane’ in 1762?

    A. Dr. Samuel Johnson

    2. What was the name of the Druid who built a spooky stone circle on Primrose…

    31st May 2013 Techno Teal

    Hello, all. I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, like the malodorous Dr Johnson into a newfangled bath-house.

    I am now the bewildered father of a muling young website, wherein I blog about caricature, and diverse matters of an 18th-century bent: I have also embraced the dubious delights of Facebook, wherein I post sundry odds and sods from the…

    14th April 2013 Gin and Georgian Japes.

    Well, hello.

    You will have gathered by now that The Gin-Lane Gazette has hit the shops, especially if you are one of my long-suffering followers on Twitter. To mark this occasion, I've embarked on a series of speaking gigs, that thus far has taken me to the lovely Danson House, Bexleyheath, and the Waterstone's in my home town of Northampton, both of which venues afforded me a magnificent welcome…

    17th February 2013 The Gazette on Tour

    Profound apologies for my extended leave of absence from the Shed, my pretties. I trust I find you all well. You should have received your hard copies of The Gin Lane Gazette some time ago, and those of you who shelled out a few additional guineas (Gawd bless yer) will by now be gasping in horror at caricatures of yourselves as bewigged Georgian personages. I am reliably informed that those amongst…

    24th October 2012 Launch Button

    Just to let all of you who were kind enough to pledge at the £100 level or above know, the date for The Gin Lane Gazette's launch party is now settled upon, and it is the 15th November. The venue is in the centralist bit of central London, and invitations with full details will be sent out over the next few days.

    This will be a night of gin-soaked debauchery, that will be spoken of as legend whene…

    18th September 2012 At Gin Lane's End.

    I have been awful hushed of late, and I apologize, but it has all been in a very good cause, because the Gin Lane Gazette is now fully illustrated. I'll be finishing off the art direction and typesetting with the fabulous Lisa Hunter over the coming days, and the book is scheduled for release on November 6th. A book this intensively researched, designed, and illustrated was always going to take a…

    11th August 2012 Sex in a Museum.

    A quick notice for you...

    On the weekend of 8th/9th September, I'll be giving a talk about The Gin Lane Gazette, sex, scandal, and the world of Georgian newspapers at the Cowper & Newton Museum in the charming market town of Olney in Buckinghamshire. Also speaking will be Lisa Gee, author of forthcoming Unbound tome HayleyWorld. The museum is dedicated to the life of 18th-century poet, William Cowper…

    6th August 2012 A Word from Our Sponsors

    Profound and unctuous apologies for the lack of Shedness lately. I've been scribbling furiously on your behalf, and I'm happy to report that the first two sections of The Gin Lane Gazette are now illustrated. My design genius, Lisa Hunter, is busy piecing together the pages from my rough designs, while Cathy Hurren, the tremendous Unbound production manager, is casting her eagle eyes over our endeavours…

    8th July 2012 Milestones.

    Well, we made it, good people. Gin Lane Gazette's Pie of Funds currently stands at 104%. I am - as you can probably imagine - cockahoop. I am also ridiculously grateful to you all for pledging, and for spreading the good word. Without your tireless help, &c, &c. It's humbling and thrilling. We can still take pledges, of course, and there's a very special edition of the book to support, so do continue…

    10th June 2012 Gin Lane Gazette Salon, 27th June.

    I am very happy to announce that on Wednesday the 27th June, at Black's Club, Dean Street, in London's throbbing Soho, we will be holding a Gin Lane Gazette Subscription Salon.

    Events kick off at 7.30pm, with Unbound's and QI's very own Mr John Mitchinson delighting us with tales of crowd-funded publishing. I shall then tell you some fabulously bawdy and bizarre stories from the 18th century, all…

    1st June 2012 I Thang Yew.

    I must dish out a thank you or two. The weather in East Anglia on Monday was exceptionally nice, yet the splendid Sarah Churchwell, Siobhan Hoffman Heap, and the good folk of UEA, Norwich, were extremely welcoming, and eschewed the lure of the beer garden in favour of bending an attentive ear towards my tales of Georgian lewdness. We're going to have a much bigger Unbound/historian event there in…

    18th May 2012 One Goes Mad In East Anglia

    Thank you to everyone who ventured out at quite short notice to attend Unbound Live 3 at Le Baron, Embassy Mayfair, on Tuesday evening. I hope you enjoyed yourselves, and if you missed it, there will be more of these events in the not-annoyingly-distant future. Unbound Live is essentially elections hustings for authors, where we pitch our ideas at a slightly bewildered audience from behind a microphone…

    29th April 2012 Courtesans Manquées

    Forgive my late absence from the Shed, poppets. Much has been going on, and Time's Winged Chariot has been pursuing me with reckless enthusiasm, like Steve McQueen in Bullitt. I've been very busy writing the first two sections of the Gin Lane Gazette (the 1750s and 1760s), and doing a little drawing and design for its opening pages.

    I have also been thinking about the racy 'courtesan of the month…

    1st April 2012 Antique Rogues Show

    I met ceramics dealer and Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp on Friday. We chose a fine alehouse in one of the prettier bits of Northamptonshire, and traded bawdy stories of Georgian rogues and misbehaviour over beer and victuals. Lars is a huge Hogarth fan, and lectures widely on the great man's work. He developed this enthusiasm while scrutinising the crockery which appears in many of Hogarth's…

    17th March 2012 Pork Swordsman

    This week, I had the good fortune to attend the launch of Suzannah Lipscomb's excellent new book, The Visitors' Companion to Tudor England, at the sumptuous Dover Street gallery of Philip Mould, the Antiques Roadshow picture expert. We were surrounded by mouth-watering Tudor and - more importantly - Georgian portraiture, and I came over quite unnecessary.

    One of the paintings was by Thomas Gainsborough…

    26th February 2012 Brewing Up Trouble

    Since you are all doubtless having the vicar around for a cup of Earl Grey this afternoon, I thought you might like to entertain him (or her) with this nugget about the more violent side of the history of tea...

    Tea was taxed heavily in the 1700s, which led to smuggling on a huge scale. In September, 1747, a Hampshire shoemaker called Daniel Chater named tea smuggler John Diamond to the authorities…

    19th February 2012 Definitely My Type

    I had a meeting with the Unbound chaps and my pal Lisa Hunter, last week. Lisa is taking on the task of typesetting the Gin Lane Gazette, which will be quite a complicated business, although I've no doubt she will discharge this duty with her customary brilliance and assiduousness.

    Lisa is keen for me to create my own typeface, and I think this is a splendid idea. I'm hoping to create a cartoony…

    11th February 2012 Lead Balloon

    This little story won't be in the book because it falls outside my period, but I thought it was too good not to share...

    Durs Egg (b.1748) was a Swiss-born gunsmith, famous for his flintlock pistols, who established his business in London in 1772, and who was patronised by King George III. In 1815, he and fellow gun-maker Jean Samuel Pauly patented a design for a 90-foot-long airship called the …

    4th February 2012 Gin (& Tonic) Lane.

    If any of you ladies are in Oxfordshire at around 3pm on Tuesday (7th Feb.) –

    I'm giving a short spiel about The Gin Lane Gazette at a ladies' coffee afternoon. The venue is the utterly beguiling Falkland Arms, at Great Tew, near Chipping Norton (@falklandarms on Twitter). I can promise you a reasonable helping of Georgian oddities, debauchery, and randy sex talk, and if you don't like coffee there…

    28th January 2012 Tom & Jerry - The Prequel

    I promised some people on Twitter I'd write a little something about this almost forgotten part of cartoon history...

    As a British cartoonist, I'm delighted to say that the original 'Tom and Jerry' were a British cartoon creation of the 1820s. The sports writer Pierce Egan (he wrote a history of pugilism called 'Boxiana') penned a hugely popular book entitled Life in London, which featured the adventures…

    15th January 2012 Back After These Messages...

    Getting on the pony to promote The Gin Lane Gazette to the wider world has made me think a little about advertising and subscription in the 1700s.

    The most prolific self-promoters by far were the quack doctors - known pejoratively as 'advertising professors' - who flogged their pills, potions and nostrums via the many newspapers and journals to a hypochondriac readership. Indeed, the quacks and the…

    23rd December 2011 The Ladies of Gin Lane

    I've had some very welcome and useful PR for the Gazette this week.

    Londonist gave the book a very kind plug, and this was picked up by Anna Lamé from Danny Baker's BBC London radio show, who spoke about it on air at some length, garnering the book a batch of new supporters. This convinces me that if enough people are made aware of the project it will be funded. Once again, I ask you to tell anyone…

    18th December 2011 Pub Philosophers

    I'm genuinely touched and delighted to see The Gin Lane Gazette is 15% funded at this early stage of proceedings, and especially since you all have the encroaching stresses and financial strains of Christmas to think about.

    I popped down to an alehouse in the purlieus of the now notorious Chipping Norton, yesterday, and received a hearty slap on the back from QI and Unbound founding father John Mitchinson…

    11th December 2011 Gin Lane Live

    I'm doing a BBC local radio interview about the book at 11am tomorrow (12th Dec.), and you can 'Listen Live' at

    Feel free to spread the word about this, and about the book in general. The Unbound publicity machine should kick into gear over the next few days, but nothing beats word of mouth, so I entreat you to drop the words 'Gin Lane Gazette' casually into conversation…

    7th December 2011 Word Spreads...

    It's been a great twenty-four hours. My supporter percentage figures doubled overnight, largely thanks to the great Chris Addison's efforts on Twitter. What a nice man.

    Talking of nice men, Terry Jones has also supported The Gin Lane Gazette, and is mailing me one of his fabulous tomes about Chaucer. We had a long chat about the great man at the Evil Machines launch, and I've always been a big admirer…

    3rd December 2011 Friends Reunited

    Had a splendid day in Oxford with Emily Brand and Lisa Hunter.

    Lisa is a genius graphic designer, who helped me pep up my Gin Lane Gazette sample pages with gorgeously authentic Georgian fonts and ageing techniques. She's also the nicest person in the world. Officially.

    Emily is a brilliant, budding writer and historian at Shire Publications, who very kindly let me borrow some original newspapers…

    2nd December 2011 The Ugly Face of Radio

    The nice folk at BBC Northampton are having me in a for a Gin Lane Gazette radio chat at 10.45am, Monday 12th December.

    It'll be on Bernie Keith's show, and I'll post details of how you can listen nearer the time. He's a splendid chap, Bernie. I had a catastrophic studio fire in 2002, in which I lost everything, including a Spitting Image puppet of the Duke of Edinburgh. Bernie tracked me down a…

    30th November 2011 Hold the Front Page

    Well, after a two-year gestation period, The Gin Lane Gazette has finally entered the public domain.

    I'm very grateful for your support, and I'll endeavour to keep my Shed stuffed with interesting and appealing titbits, including the occasional cartoon and working drawing for your perusal. So, keep dropping by, and spread the word about my book and the genius of Unbound, if you'd be so very kind…

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