Friday, December 13, 2013

Mr. Punch in the Arts: The Holiday Letter from School, c. 1850

George Speaight Punch & Judy Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum

From the George Speaight Punch & Judy Archive at the Victoria & Albert Museum, we see an engraving entitled “The Holiday Letter from School - a Boy's Dream of the Coming Christmas,” which rather puts me in mind of the scene from “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” when Magoo as Ebenezer Scrooge sees young Ebenezer singing, “When You’re Alone in the World.”

The engraving is after the painting by Adrien Marie, and was published in the Nineteenth Century. Seated at his desk, the boy writes home, sharing his eagerness to take part in the family’s holiday traditions. He dreams of the joys of Christmas—reuniting with his mother, toys, puddings, feasts, sports and games. Notable is the figure of Mr. Punch at the lower right—riding a croquet mallet.

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