8th April 2022 by

30th anniversary of the final issue of ‘Punch’

8 April 1992 saw the final issue of Punch, Britain’s oldest satirical magazine, after 150 years in publication.

Punch, or The London Charivari (in homage to the French satirical magazine Le Charivari), was a weekly British satirical magazine whose artists and illustrators included John Tenniel (of Alice in Wonderland fame) and Archibald Henning. Its audience included Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, together with Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Brontë, Herman Melville and many of the literary figures of Victorian England.

Punch gave several phrases to the English Language, including The Crystal Palace, and the Curate’s Egg (first seen in an 1895 cartoon by George du Maurier). 

In 2004, much of the Punch archive was acquired by the British Library, including the Punch table. The long, oval, Victorian table was brought into the offices around 1855, and was used for staff meetings and on other occasions. The wooden surface is scarred with the carved initials of the magazine’s longtime writers, artists, and editors, as well as six invited “strangers”, including James Thurber and Prince Charles. Mark Twain declined the invitation, saying that the already-carved initials of William Makepeace Thackeray included his own.

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