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Leary, Patrick. The Punch Brotherhood: Table talk and print culture in mid-victorian london. London: British Library, 2010. 
Added by: joachim (7/15/14, 1:43 PM)   
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9780712309233
BibTeX citation key: Leary2010
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Punch", Early forms of comics, Publishing, United Kingdom
Creators: Leary
Publisher: British Library (London)
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Deep in the recesses of the British Library sits a long oval dining table of plain deal, its battered surface deeply scored with crudely carved initials. This unprepossessing piece of furniture was once the most famous table in London: the legendary Punch Table, where the staff of the most successful and influential comic magazine the English-speaking world has ever seen gathered every week for decades. Based on extensive research among unpublished letters, diaries, minute books, and business records, The Punch Brotherhood takes the reader inside this Victorian institution, bringing to life the tightly-knit community of writers, artists, and proprietors who gathered around the Punch Table, and their tumultuous, uninhibited conversations, spiced with jokes and gossip. Highlighting the role of talk in the understanding of nineteenth-century print culture, and shedding new light on the careers of literary giants Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray and of the many lesser authors who laboured in their shadow, this ground-breaking study vividly demonstrates how oral culture permeated and shaped the realm of print, from the dining tables of exclusive men’s clubs to the alleyways of Fleet Street.

Table of Contents

List of Figures (vii)
Acknowledgments (viii)

Introduction (1)
– Mister Punch and the Historians
– Oral Culture, Print Culture
– Community and Production

Chapter 1: The Brotherhood of the Punch Table (10)
– The Evolution of the Dinner Meeting
– The Early Staff at Table, 1843–1857
– Henry Silver and His Diary, 1858–1870

Chapter 2: Cartoons and Conversations: The Large Cut (35)
– Many Voices
– Imagining the Reader
– Following the News
– Give and Take

Chapter 3: Gossip and the Literary Life (57)
– Literary Success and Literary Talk
– Swinburne: Scandal and Judgment
– The Bohemians

Chapter 4: Town Talk: Dickens, Thackeray, and the Policing of Gossip (79)
– The Great Rivalry
– Dickens and Gossip: ‘Amazing Slanders’
– The ‘Personal Statement’ and Its Consequences
– The Garrick Affair: ‘Printing Comments upon My Private Conversation’
– The Committee
– ‘The Garrick is in Convulsions’
– ‘Wheels within Wheels’

Chapter 5: Shirley Brooks and the Flight from Bohemia (110)
– ‘A Scrambling, Uncertain Life’: the Struggle for Respectability
– The Tory Journalist and the ‘Grown Up’ Punch
– ‘I Mount a Good Many Guns’: the Exercise of Influence
– ‘The Important Purpose of My Life’: the Fragility of Success

Chapter 6: Bradbury and Evans and the Personal Politics of Print Culture (133)
– Bradbury and Evans before Punch: Master Printers
Punch before Bradbury and Evans: ‘We must have Cash!’
Punch after Bradbury and Evans: The Capitalization of Sociability
– Talk, Fellowship, and Production
– Sales, Profit, and Friendship
– From Printer-Proprietors to Publishers
– Conclusion

Epilogue (173)

Appendix: The Henry Silver ‘Diary’ (178)

Select Bibliography (181)
Index (193)

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