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on 21 February 2009
What can one say except that when dealing with a reign as long as that of Victoria RI ... 63 years 1837 to 1901 ... a book that is only about three quarters of an inch thich and can be lifted by hand is going to be woefully inadequate if it seeks to fully illuminate that period. Yet when we think of Victorian England I'll bet most of us think in terms of "Punch" illustrations.... Punch was born in the 1840's and was quite a rebellious infant, albeit it grew to be a staunch conservative by the end of the century. It was a home for some of the best of black and white art and the work of its contributors accurately delineated the world of the emergent British Empire, whether making a political point or attempting a humourous aside. This book cannot hope but to scratch the surface but it makes a good attempt at that, assisting comprehension of the art with well researched text outlining the background to the artist's inspiration.
Get this book to start with and follow with R E Williams' "Century of Punch Cartoons" ... you will find much to instruct and amaze you.
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