[Click to enlarge, and then again, for a delightful look at Mr. Punch]
My history of reading PUNCH magazine began roughly in 1976, when Deborah bought me a membership in the Providence Athenaeum library, to which we still belong today.
Their periodicals room featured many exotic (for those pre-internet days) magazines, one of which was PUNCH.
Although a lot of the topical UK references eluded me, the general humor was always enjoyable. I particularly recall laughing at the regular column which made fun of "Franglais," that pidgin tongue.
I read PUNCH up until its demise in 1992, a solid fifteen years, and retained fond memories of it.
Thus, yesterday, my eye was immediately drawn to two bound volumes of this magazine covering the whole year of 1928, while I was browsing the cheap racks at Brattle Books in Boston.
I really didn't need more books in the house. But their physical beauty (see the cover scan above) and the inherent melancholy of these discarded volumes and their low price ($3.00 apiece!) induced me to buy them. I felt like Nicholson Baker saving the bound volumes of the NEW YORK WORLD:
Inside, the pages were just as delightful as the bindings, chock-a-block with text and illos.
While I certainly don't have time to read these, I can at least look at random cartoons.
So that's what I'm going to do, reproducing a cartoon now and again for your viewing pleasure.
If anyone ever asks you what made Edwardians laugh, you'll be prepared to answer.
Posted by Paul DiFi.