It’s St. George’s Day! And, to celebrate, I thought I’d bring you another post in the style of ‘Victorians and their Dogs’ and ‘Victorians and their Cats’, only this time we’ll be celebrating ‘Victorians and their Dragons’. Please remember: a dragon is for life, not just for St. George’s Day.

Co-written with @DrDouglasSmall – funny man, academic, and researcher of Victorian drugs. 


Benjamin Robert Haydon, 'Slaying the Dragon' (2)
Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) ‘Slaying the Dragon’

This is not going the way you envisioned it, is it George? Poor George was out last night, lost his armour in a poker game, and is clearly still drunk and belligerent. The horse, meanwhile, has the hangover of the century. He’s all like: “Dude, indoor battle cries, plz. And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD point me away from the bright burning light !” Also the dragon knows Jujitsu.


Blake, 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun'
William Blake (1757-1827), ‘The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun’

You know you’ve taken the bedroom role-play too far when you’re clothed in the sun and he’s in papier maché horns and wings doing his sexy dance.


Arthur Rackham, 'Dragon'
Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), ‘Dragon’

Gotta catch ’em all. And she did.


Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), The Perseus Series

Everything about this painting is fabulous. Andromeda is fabulous. Perseus is fabulous. And here is an example of a little-known aspect of dragon mythology: dragons are suave motherfuckers who seem to be able to talk everyone out of their clothes. This dragon is clearly the Lando Calrissian of the fantastical bestiary. He’s all with the smouldering eye contact, like “He-looow. Truly, you belong here with us among the clouds (of smoke)”. I imagine there’s smooth jazz playing in the background.


Sidney Harold Meteyard, 'St George and the Dragon'
Sidney Harold Meteyard (1868-1947)

See! These two look bored as hell. They’ve slain the dragon and now all the passion has gone out of their relationship. No more jazz music for you, assholes.


Arthur Rackham, 'Leviathan'
Arthur Rackham, ‘Leviathan’



Arthur Rackham, 'Loge'
Arthur Rackham, ‘Loge’

OK, far from me to to tread on anyone’s dreams here, but at what point is a dragon just a snake? I like to imagine this is the reptile equivalent of 8 Mile and this snake has dreams of making it big in the dragon world.

Have we missed any of your favourite Victorian dragons? Let me know!