"Punch" Cards (GB)


"Punch" magazine was a British illustrated periodical published from 1841 to 1992. The magazine derived its name from "Mr. Punch", the cynical and abusive character in the early Victorian children's marionette plays "Punch and Judy". Mr. Punch always carried a stick which he applied vigorously! "Punch" began as a radical weekly newspaper and soon evolved into a "must read" journal of all literary classes. The magazine was known worldwide for its satirical and invective style. In the nineteenth century it was perhaps the most influential single journal in Europe for the development of the cartoonist's and caricaturist's art of satire. Starting in 1888, the year Wilhelm II ascended the imperial throne in Germany, the satirists of "Punch" cast a wary eye upon the bellicose Kaiser, whose public pronouncements, foreign intrigues and strident militarism became increasingly erratic and pronounced as his reign progressed. Kaiser Wilhelm II became a regular presence in the publication which consistently documented the megalomania which was the most salient feature of his personality.


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1.
Take courage

2.
Well met

3.
India for
the King

4.
The world's
ennemy

5.
God our shield

6.
Let us prey

7.
Solid

8.
The Cossacks

9.
Belgium

10.
At the post
of Honour

11.
For friendship
and Honour

12.
"Culture"


In 1914 - 1916 the English postcard publisher Jarrold & Sons (London) published a series of cartoons taken from "Punch" magazine. While most of the cards in this series wre timely and topical as to events and issues of the Great War then being fought, Jarrold & Sons also reproduced a number of cartoons which were originally published 1888 - 1912 tracing the "history" of Wilhelm. These show that the publishers of "Punch" had been more astute prophets of the conflict to come than had been the British government and het diplomats. In concluding we would like to point out some of the "historical" cartoons the series includes. The cartoon on card no. 13 was published in October 1888 and shows the young and newly enthroned Kaiser being warned about the course of "Caesarism" by Germany's preeminent diplomat Prince Bismarck. The cartoon on card no. 14, drawn by the famous cartoonist John Tenneil, wash published in March 1890 on the occasion of Wilhelm dismissing Prince Bismarck, architect of the German Empire, as Chancellor.


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13.
A wise
warning

14.
Dropping
the pilot

15.
Jack-in-the-box

16.
The modern
Alexander

17.
The story of
Fidgety Wilhelm

18.
A new role


This particular cartoon created a tremendous stir and is of historical significance. "Punch" published it two days before the German Imperial Government announced Bismarck's resignation. The story is that Wilhelm II had written his grandmother, Britain's Queen Victoria, informing her of his decision to break with Bismarck. Tenniel was at Buckingham Palace having tea with the Queen when she let slip this piece of information. Tenniel then drew and published his famous cartoon "Dropping the Pilot" and "Punch" magazine achieved a spectacular news coup.


19.
Cook's
Crusader

20.
On tour

21.
Not in the
picture

22.
"Isolation"

23.
His favourite
subject

24.
Turkey

25.
Made in
Germany

26.
The great
illusion

27.
The great Goth

28.
Nothing doing

29.
The
incorrigibles

30.
Giving the
show away

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31.
Unconquerable

32.
A quick change
of front

33.
Hail! Russia!

34.
Harmony

35.
A plain duty

36.
The limit


Other cards in the series tracing the course of the Kaiser's career with a jaundiced and sharp eye are no. 15 (January 1892), no. 16 (March 1892), no. 17 (February 1896), no. 19 (October 1897 - Wilhelm's intervention in the Greco - Turkish war), no. 20 (April 1903 - his interference in the Morocco crisis, no. 22 (circa 1903), no. 24 (1910) and no. 7 (August 1911).



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