The books > Punch 1862 and 1863 compared to AAiW

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Punch 1862 and 1863 compared to AAiW

Postby Treacle » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:15 pm

My wife bought the bound volumes for 1862 and 1863 of Punch magazine in an antiques mall. I've seen threads on this forum wondering about Tenniel's illustrations for the Alice books, and if, by today's standards, the Alice books are children's books. CLD read Punch. It was a popular humor magazine. When I see Tenniel's illustrations in Punch, and read the humor, and the lame jokes, in those two volumes, it's pretty obvious that both CLD and JT were consciously writing and drawing with considerably high regard towards children's literature. Yes, I've flinched at the rough humor of Chapter 3, Pig and Pepper, in AAiW, but compared to the violence in Punch it's so toned down. (Punch and Judy, after whom the magazine was named, is an old coarse puppet play.) As for Tenniel's Alice illustrations, he gets the facial expressions right and focuses the pictures down to soften them, compared to the Punch illustrations. The Tweedles look positively cuddly compared to Tenniel's twin thugs in 1862.

(It's one thing to tell me the Alice books are Victorian, but it took a direct confrontation with source material to drive home what "Victorian" means, compared to my everyday awareness. :o )

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