'A Word to The Wise', 1870. In this cartoon, Britannia takes on the mantle of Homer's Pallas Athene, with Wilhelm I of Prussia dressed (apart from the headgear) as Ulysses. Britain had in fact maintained a neutral stance during the course of the war between France and Prussia. However, the French were suffering heavy defeats at Prussian hands, and many men had lost their lives. After a series of fierce battles around Sedan, Emperor Napoleon III had surrendered himself to King William. A revolution in France followed and, at the beginning of September, Napoleon was formally deposed and a Republic was proclaimed. Empress Eugenie fled to Britain. By the date of this cartoon, Prussian forces were approaching Paris. From Punch, or the London Charivari, September 24, 1870.
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