This chapter argues that David Wilkie sought to represent the everyday stories as the authentic basis of social life, and also shows that his initial image of the everyday was not sustainable once there was no longer any consensus over who was and who was not properly part of society. Pitlessie Fair and the Village Politicians were visceral scenes of rough country life. William Hogarth is conspicuous by his absence from his historical scheme of things; and, given the regularity with which Wilkie was blithely compared to Hogarth by his contemporaries, he can only have had mixed feelings about him. The Chelsea Pensioners was one of three outdoor urban scenes that Wilkie exhibited in succession in 1821–3. The Village Politicians had as its basic theme the disruptive effects of news upon everyday life: the two were represented as incompatible.
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