Illustrations of John Falstaff by George Cruikshank
One of Cruikshank's most celebrated series of drawings were his illustrations for a book entitled The Life of Sir John Falstaff, published in 1858. The book purports to be a biography of Falstaff drawn from contemporary and authentic sources.
In fact, Falstaff was a fictional character that appeared in three of Shakespeare's plays. In the plays Falstaff is fat, boastful and cowardly - the exact opposite of the knightly stereotype.