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Dr Simon Grennan, Leading Research Fellow in the Department of Art and Design, has been working with co-researchers Professor Roger Sabin (Central Saint Martins) and Dr Julian Waite (independent) on the pioneering work of cartoonist and actress Marie Duval (1849–1890.), This includes the establishment of The Marie Duval Archive (, the publication of the picture book Marie Duval and the exhibition Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure, which toured to London, Berlin and New York. Now the researchers have published the new academic study Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian cartoonist, by Manchester University Press.

The book undertakes a critical analysis of Duval’s work and times, identifying her as one of the most unusual, pioneering and visionary cartoonists of the later 19th Century.

Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian cartoonist evaluates the ways in which Duval frequently imported the ethics, habits and practices of the theatre into the periodical press, distributing marginalised ideas – such as a woman employing masculine humour, or feminising employment in the print industries – to a wide, eager and varied readership and increasingly rendering these ideas and types of behaviour unremarkable, habitual and every day.

The book also outlines Duval’s achievement as a visual journalist and the ways in which her work continued to be obscured, stolen and erased, through phases of denial, misuse, exclusion and neglect, since the 1880s. 

Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian cartoonist mitigates these conditions and describes Duval for the first time as an historically significant visual journalist and artist working at a key time in the development of British visual culture.

Dr Grennan said: "Uncovering the hidden work of Marie Duval has been an absolute treasure hunt! From glimpses gleaned here and there, and a couple of pieces of pioneering work by other scholars, we started on our five-year journey to try to collect, understand, appreciate and appraise Duval's work and revive her reputation as a significant British cartoonist. This book completes this phase of our work, but we know that there is more to discover and suspect that there is more to come!

Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian cartoonist is available for pre-order now from

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