George Cruikshank is considered by some to be one of the best illustrators that Britain has produced. He could draw as soon as he could write. From the beginning he was concerned with satire, achieving public notice with painting theatre backdrops. His political caricature work was soon overtaken by his work as a book illustrator. His best known work was for Charles Dickens with 'Oliver Twist'.
Among his large number of other illustrated books were 'Grimm's Fairy Tales' (1827), 'Scraps and Sketches', 'Pilgrim's Progress' and 'Paradise Lost'. Despite his large oeuvre, more than 15,000 drawings in his lifetime, Cruikshank was never well off. He required financial assistance from friends in 1866, and late in life relied on a modest pension.