Icons is a new series of depictions of long-dead English adventurers, of the trope often held up as evidence of a plucky British Spirit that is somehow supposed to emerge triumphant over all practical adversity. The truth of course is always more complex. The ‘icons’ represented here died terrible, lingering deaths having failed miserably in their disastrously mismanaged and under-planned misadventures. And though their reputations, along with others of their ilk, has undergone various revisions over the decades, the iconography of the brave British underdog still possesses enough potency to disguise dismal failure and moral cowardice today.