We are so used to taking the mickey out of those in power that it seems hard to believe that there was ever a time when we were supposed to be more reverential. The proper grown up term for “taking the mick” is satire and the magazine that was renowned for it was Punch, a British magazine established in 1841 which had its editorial meetings at the pub!
Punch has had a huge influence on media including giving us the concept of a “cartoon” from the Italian cartone, for a sketch on a large piece of cardboard. Punch appropriated the term to refer to its political cartoons, and the popularity of the cartoons led to the term’s widespread use. So the next time you open up The Press to the opinions page for the cartoon you can think back to Punch. Taking the mick has a long history!
You can now search the Punch Historical Archive 1841-1992 by keyword or browse issues by date to explore the social, political and historical concerns of a time span of 150 years. It is especially relevant in exploring attitudes towards World War One in this its anniversary year with truly fascinating iconography. The cartoons of the suffragettes are also amazing – how far we have come!
You can access this resource in libraries or from home using your library card number and password/PIN. Use and enjoy!