ISBN is

978-0-8142-0710-9 / 0814207103

PUNCH: THE LIVELY YOUTH OF A BRITISH INSTITUTIO (VICTORIAN LIFE & LITERATURE)

by ALTICK, RICHARD

Publisher:Ohio State University Press

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

This book is the first to explore, systematically and in depth, the first ten years of Punch, the popular Victorian periodical, especially as it mirrored the interests and mind-set of its predominantly middle-class audience. Richard D. Altick shows how Punch's editorial and pictorial contents drew from numerous streams of popular and middlebrow culture, which it blended into a distinctive weekly product, often imitated but never equaled. At every point, Altick describes Punch's humorous treatment of events, public personalities, and current issues - frivolous or serious - against a background of historical evidence culled from the London Times and other contemporary documents. Born in 1841 on a shoestring and with a poor prognosis, Punch, or the London Charivari, quickly became and English institution, a position it was to hold for more than a century. No typical middle-class home in Victorian England would have been complete without the latest issue of Punch prominently displayed. A perennial topicality in itself - each weekly issue was keenly anticipated and talked about in the tens of thousands of households that bought it - Punch was the most timely of all current publications, except for the daily newspapers. The approximately 5,300 pages published in its first ten years provide a rich and animated mirror of life in Early Victorian England as its readers experienced and observed it. Altick not only presents the success story of a great humorous periodical of considerable import in English history. His pages also reflect the social history of an especially colorful and animated decade. Based on years of research, this fully illustrated volume is a monumental work of significant scholarship. Beautifully written with erudition and wit, this book will delight students of early Victorian social and political history and literature, as well as those interested in the history of journalism, graphic, satire, and popular taste.

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