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Punch: The Lively Youth of a British Institution 1841-1851.

Richard D. Altick.

Published by Ohio State University Press July 1, 1997, Columbus, OH, 1997
ISBN 10: 0814207103 / ISBN 13: 9780814207109
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Punch: The Lively Youth of a British ...

Publisher: Ohio State University Press July 1, 1997, Columbus, OH

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Ed; First Printing indicated.


First Ed; First Printing indicated. Fine in Very Near Fine DJ: Book shows binding square and secure; text clean. DJ shows only a crease at the inside front flap and a tiny, closed tear at the top edge of the front panel; else flawless; mylar-protected. Virtually 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 776pp. Studies in Victorian Life and Literature Series. Hardback with DJ. This is a wonderful book. One could almost recommend it as a student's first history of 1840s England. Former Professor Altick loves his subject, knows it thoroughly, and shares his knowledge with us with infectious enthusiasm. He treats Punch neither as an antiquarian curiosity, nor inflates its importance beyond what it was -- a popular magazine in an era of many voices. The chapters are ordered thematically, but, unlike so many other scholars, Professor Altick knows how to tie his themes together, so the book works beautifully as a whole. 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. Anyone interested in Victorian culture should read this book. Historians interested in producing good works, in any field, would learn from it. Bookseller Inventory # 41039

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