The 1867 Punch opens with John Tenniel’s two-page cartoon that presents Mr. Punch in the guise of an emperor leading a Roman triumph. Behind him walks Benjamin Disraeli, then prime minister, holding a scroll bearing the words “Admiralty” while at Disraeli’s left appear his great rival, William E. Gladstone, and behind him someone who is probably John Bright. Behind him rides sidesaddle a crowned woman wearing a sash identifying her as Europa and next to her a female figure representing India. Behind them comes an elephant bearing Britannia next to whom appear the crowned rulers of Russia, Germany, and Austro-Hungarian empire. Female figures representing Africa and North America look in the direction of Turkey and camels labelled as Egyptian debt and taxes. Behind them a batch of portly financiers blowing bubbles labelled “Company” and donkeys carrying bundles on which appear the words “railways” and “mines,” whose riders wear paper hats identifying them as Honduras, Santa Domingo, Costa Rica (and one whose label I can’t make out). Bringing up the rear are cattle, a bear, sheep, and two oxen pulling a wagon on which stands a figure who could represent Father Christmas and the end of the year. — George P. Landow

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Last modified 17 June 2019