This black and white etching is seventh of eight scenes drawn by George Cruikshank depicting the progressive degeneration of a family due to the evils of drinking. This print is an interior scene of a crowd gathered around the body of a dead woman. The weapon, a broken bottle, lies on the floor at her feet. The husband stands next to the fireplace and is being seized by a policeman. Another policeman consoles and interrogates the crying daughter, who is pointing to the broken bottle. The son, also crying, stands next to the fireplace. This series is a folio edition. On the reverse of Plate I. is the title page of the series and an inscription from the artist, including the cost of one shilling or six shillings for prints block tinted for shading on finer paper. The series is contained in a portfolio.
This series of prints is by the English artist George Cruikshank (1792-1878). Cruikshank’s father, Isaac Cruikshank, was an artist who specialized in song sheets and caricatures and trained George and his brother Robert Cruikshank in these arts. George started as a caricaturist for magazines and children’s books. His most famous works included The Bottle and The Drunkard’s Children, designed and etched by Cruikshank to show the wickedness of alcohol. Cruikshank's father and brother were both alcoholics and he himself drank heavily until he took a vow of abstinence in 1847. These prints were published by David Bogue, who published most of Cruikshank’s works in the 1850s. David Bogue (1807–1856) was born in Scotland and moved to London in 1836. Bogue began working in Charles Tilt's bookshop as a publisher and bookseller in 1836 and became Tilt's partner in 1840. Bogue bought the shop in 1843. He was the principle publisher of Cruikshank’s short-lived periodicals, brief illustrated stories, and the Comic Almanack 1835-53. David Bogue published The Bottle series in 1847. Bogue suffered from heart disease and died in 1856 at the age of 48