Professor Sutherland's Clark Lectures begin with a definition of satire, distinguishing it from comedy and emphasising the special qualities of the satirical author's motives and his participation in and enjoyment of the use of his talent. He then discusses primitive and popular forms; and there follow four chapters in satire in verse, in prose, in the novel and in the theatre. Each is historical, ranging from the beginnings of modern English literature to Shaw and Orwell. Due consideration if given to classical and medieval traditions, but the real core of the argument is an analysis of the great English satirists, their standpoint, style and method, with ample and enjoyable quotation. Dryden, Swift and Pope are given the most attention but in each chapter Professor Sutherland touches on a number of topics and authors including Fielding, Austen, Peacock, Dickens and Thackeray. A valuable unified account of the nature and resources of satire and the achievements of English satirists.
Filmmaker and photographer Peter Sutherland was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Colorado. A move to New York City in 1998 prompted his first feature documentary, Pedal, published by powerHouse Books in 2006 as a book and DVD package. The author of Autograf: New York City's Graffiti Writers (powerHouse Books, 2004), and Buck Shots (powerHouse Books, 2007), Sutherland has also published artist's books with Nieves, Art Beat Press, and P.A.M. Books, among others.