The present group of drawings follow in the tradition established earlier in the century by artists such as William Hogarth for producing a series of modern morals. In this series, two brothers are bestowed an equal fortune. One brother, Edward, husbands his wealth and on his death, passes on his fortune; whilst the other brother, Charles, squanders his and on his death, his family is left destitute, with their possessions about to be sold to settle debts. These drawings are full of careful detail, which plunge the spectator into 18th Century life.
Daniel Dodd, a member of the Free Society of Artists, was a painter and engraver who was particularly known for his scenes of fashionable life, filled with figures and incidental details, such as his celebrated View of the Ball at St. James's on Her Majesty's Birthnight, which was widely disseminated through the engraving by Tukey in 1782. He produced numerous illustrations for various publications, particularly the Novelist's Magazine; for a fuller listing of his other key illustrations see, H. Hammelmann, Book illustrators in Eighteen-Century England, London and New Haven, 1975, pp. 29-30.