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This interdisciplinary study considers the creation, use and re-evaluation of an imaginary hunchback dwarf - Mayeux - hero of the July Monarchy. Created as an 'anonymous' messenger of criticisms against the government by artists and writers fearful of censorship, the dwarf appeared in literature, prints, decorative art objects, popular chansons and theatrical performances. Mayeux's origins are traced from associations with court fools, carnival clowns and scientific theories such as physiognomy, phrenology and comparative anatomy. His ambiguous personality and shifting meanings are identified through consideration of his multiple users and their individual political stances.