In Collaboration with Ronald Hudson

Punch was a Victorian weekly magazine that built up for itself a reputation for satire and savagely cutting commentary. Although in many ways a conservative magazine, they kept no sacred cows; anything and everything was available to be satirized and ridiculed. Reputations and careers were made and broken by the cartoons and articles depicted in this magazine. The fact that Punch was commenting on events as they happened has meant that it has provided historians with an invaluable source of contemporary values and ideas. People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, Punch's wonderful imagery and social and political commentary provides an excellent barometer for Victorian and Imperial sensibilities and attitudes. Take a closer look at the above cartoons and see how they reflected and reacted to the social and political realities of the day.

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by Stephen Luscombe