Representations of the Great Stink of 1858 in Punch


Clare Horrocks
(Liverpool John Moores University)

Mr Punch’s consistent campaign for sanitary reform from 1841 to 1858 and the year of the Great Stink addressed an issue that many of the middle classes were unwilling to confront or discuss.  The magazine’s verbal visual wit challenges definitions of comedy and humour with its more ludic and satirical approach to politics and reform.  Meaning is clearly located within the context from which it was produced, informed by social mores of the period, and in this way the magazine is a crucial source for understanding the Victorian period and cultural change.  This paper will demonstrate the importance of building new methods and theories of examining history and humour for facilitating a more in-depth analysis of changes in culture and communication across the centuries.

Click here to listen to podcast

Wednesday, 14th January 2015, 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm
Venue: Lucas Room, Keppel Street Building