An Evening With Punch

Gather the family around the fire. Light the lamp at your elbow and prepare to share Punch.

Gather the family around the fire. Light the lamp at your elbow and prepare to share Punch.


1880’s Girl was pleased as ‘punch’ to with this treasured find from last Sunday’s swap meet in Crawly, a history of Punch celebrating the first 50 years of Punch, published in 1900 complete with coupons for subscription. This”History of ‘Punch‘” was added on to 25 quadruple volumes collecting the first 50 Years of Punch together like a set of Encyclopedia.

This is my favorite sort of research, almost from the horses mouth, as it was published a mere nine years after the 50th Anniversary of the famed magazine. I have heard of Punch, read about Punch but never actually seen an original Punch magazine.

In the Preface to this history it gives me free license to mine Punch for historical research. M.H. Spielmann, the author of this history, writes:

“If one were to interleave a history of the Victorian Era with added illustrations, nearly every cartoon in Punch would be needed. If a treatise were now to be written describing the “manners, customs, and dress” of Victorian England, as Lacroix in his famous work described the peoples of Medieval Europe, Punch would be ransacked for “documents”.”

I also like this comment on historical fiction:

The historical novel, with all its falsity of perspective, has been of incalculable service, because it directed to the pas the attention of the general reader, and Punch’s informal accounts of Victorian events not only supply and amusing survey of our own time but are eminently fair and straightforward.”

So there you have it any writer of historical fiction set in the Victorian Era in England must have need to delve into the archives of Punch for fair and straightforward representation of the place and times.

I hope to share with you over the coming weeks amusing excerpts and fascinating insights gleaned from the pages of this 26th volume.

Hear are a few peeks at what is inside….

Punch Magazine, Victorian periodical, Unwin Brothers

Yes this is the same Unwin that in 1914 founded Allen & Unwin, Australia’s first publishing house.


This flier was inside. Anyone care for a subscription?

This flier was inside. Anyone care for a subscription?


Punch's Illustrations are famous for good reason.

Punch’s Illustrations are famous for good reason.


2 thoughts on “An Evening With Punch

  1. Tarissa says:

    Ah! Hello! I’m a new visitor… who just adores your blog! I just finished reading several of your latest blog posts… it transports me to the Victorian era, which I love so dearly.

    I’ll be eagerly following along with you now. Can’t wait for more. 🙂

    P.S. I’m hosting a Louisa May Alcott reading challenge (on my blog) this month, if you’re interested in joining us. Just thought I would mention it because you had such delightful remarks on Little Women!


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