<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

More from Books

Scrawled outpourings of love and defiance

Examples of 18th-century graffiti range from romantic rhymes scratched on windowpanes to the haunting marks of political prisoners incised on dungeon walls

13 April 2024

9:00 AM

13 April 2024

9:00 AM

Writing on the Wall: Rebellion and the Making of Eighteenth-Century Britain Madeleine Pelling

Profile Books, pp.322, 25

To come across dates and names carved into a choirstall or ancient tree is to experience a momentary frisson, a startled connection with the past. Yet this practice of making ‘unauthorised’ personal graphic statements in public spaces is often thought of as antisocial, something to be erased immediately. Unless of course they are by Banksy, whose spray-painted outpourings cost local councils a great deal to clean off before they came to be regarded as valid documents, articulating the thoughts and imaginings of the disaffected.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Get 3 months of digital access, absolutely free

Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today to get the next 3 months of unlimited website and app access for free.

  • Full access to spectator.com.au and spectator.co.uk
  • The Spectator Australia app, on Apple and Android
  • Podcasts and newsletters, including Morning Double Shot
  • Our archive, going back to 1828
Or

Unlock this article

REGISTER

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Comments

Get 3 months of digital access, absolutely free

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Close