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A Puzzled Little Terrier

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LOW David & LAVERY John - Sketches Signed on two sides of an album leafIt's difficult to resist the warm glow engendered at the sight of a lovable, friendly little dog, and this one is certainly no exception.  
The great New Zealand-born cartoonist David Low drew this little terrier in somebody's autograph album in 1935, when the world seemed a very uncertain place. Low may have been personally acquainted with the model for this dog, who turned up in another of his cartoons, looking very puzzled as he gazes up at the conspiratorial Hitler and Mussolini.

Low's cartoons were always on a campaign - against tyrany, bullying, hypocrisy, cowardice, and he was none too gentle with the two great press barons of the day, Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Rothermere. But when Beaverbrook offered him a job on the Evening Standard, Low eventually accepted, having been assured that he would have the freedom to express his views in his cartoons.  That freedom turned out to have limits, but the association continued in spite of that. Rothermere, owner of the Oswald Mosley-supporting Daily Mail, on the other hand, remained a target throughout the 1930s and beyond.

Low's work in the '30s and '40s, mocking Hitler and Mussolini, hit home. Exaggerating their theatrical bluster and pomp, holding them up to ridicule, proved a stinging weapon. Low was a fierce critic of appeasement, a supporter of Churchill during the war, and a standard-bearer for Attlee's welfare state after it. The common thread in his life's work was a hatred of injustice and a concern for his fellow man.

And then . . .  he came up with this little terrier, eternally puzzled by all the bluster.

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