Punch (magazine)

British weekly magazine of humour and satire

Punch, or The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire. It was started in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and wood-engraver Ebenezer Landells. It was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s. It helped to start the use of the word "cartoon" in its modern sense. From 1850, John Tenniel was the chief cartoon artist at the magazine for over 50 years. The London Charivari subtitle referred to Charles Philipon's French satirical humour magazine Le Charivari which had started in 1832. A a charivari is a noisy parade, to shame or punish bad people. It had a picture of Mr. Punch, of Punch and Judy on the front page.

1916 front cover
The bishop says "I'm afraid you've got a bad egg, Mr Jones". Apparently trying to avoid offence or curry favor, the curate replies, "Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!"
The curate's egg 1895

It was popular with the upper classes and got mentioned in newspapers like The Times and the Sunday paper News of the World.[1] Several phrases in the English language, including The Crystal Palace, and the "Curate's egg" came from Punch. Some famous British funny books were first serialised in Punch, such as the Diary of a Nobody and 1066 and All That. It was popular all over the British Empire. It often had stories about British India.[2]

It employed many famous writers and cartoonists.

After 1947–1948 when it sold more than 175,000 copies, it went downhill and closed in 1992. It was started again in 1996, but closed again in 2002.

References change

  1. See Altick, Richard. Punch: The Lively Youth of a British Institution, 1841–1851 [Ohio State University Press, 1997), 17.
  2. Ritu G. Khanduri. Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World. 2014. Cambridge University Press