A book with eight hand coloured illustrations, 1923.

Lady HamiltonFull Title

Lady Hamilton or the Posturing of Emma or From Housemaid to Nelsons bit of crackling. A fantastic and romantic travesty by Alfred Richard Meyer. Most industriously fleshed out by George Grosz.

Original Title

Lady Hamilton oder Posen Emma oder vom Dienstmadchen zum Beefsteak al la Nelson Eine ebenso romanhalf wie auch Novellenschankelnde durchwachsene Travestie von Alred Richard Meyer. Flesigt and fleischigst bebildert von George Grosz

Year of Production



George Grosz, printed by Fritz Gurlitt Verlag




Paper, ink


height: 30.5 cm; width: 25.4 cm; depth: 1.1 cm

Credit Line



© Estate of George Grosz, Princeton, N.J. / DACS, 2014

You can browse the entire book here

What was the Lady Hamilton Book?

Alfred Meyer’s fantasy account of the story of Emma, Lady Hamilton and her changing fortunes was a commission to which Grosz applied his talents enthusiastically. With an eye attuned to the sleaze of the Weimar-era after-dark clubs and speakeasies, his illustrations openly explored a more saucy erotic side to Nelson and Emma’s affair, normally respectfully chronicled by British historians.

None of the illustrations is titled, but range from Lady Hamilton in various states of undress, either posing as a smiling classical figure, or for Nelson, who in one scene appears in the guise of an unshaven artist at his easel, Emma as his model. Grosz’s hand-colouring variously has Nelson with a red nose or blue stubble, admiring Emma’s red hair, or contemplating a decanter of green absinthe-like liquid.

Further details of Leicester's copy

First edition, limited issue. Number thirty one of the first 50 copies, with eight hand-coloured lithographic illustrations by George Grosz, each signed in pencil by the artist. Berlin: Fritz Gurlitt, 1923. Pencil signature in the endpapers by Alfred Richard Meyer [included in first 50 copies only].