An Introduction to Novelist Edna Lyall in Two Parts (Part 2)

Edna Lyall’s persona in the literary marketplace – as a compassionate author of novels rooted in sympathy – was satirized in 1891 by Punch. Her popular work Donovan was parodied as Sonogun by ‘Miss Redna Trial, Author of “Wee Jew;” “A Lardy Horseman;” “Spun by Prating,” &c., &c., &c.’.[1] A short note from ‘the fair Author’ caricatured Lyall further, giving readers her foolproof recipe for ‘pleas[ing] the publishers and captur[ing] the public’: The philosophic infidel must be battered into belief

Read more

Steven McLean, The Future as a Punchline: H. G. Wells’s Comic Celebrity

Steven McLean is author of The Early Fiction of H. G. Wells: Fantasies of Science (2009) and the editor of H. G. Wells: Interdisciplinary Essays (2008). As well as a number of articles on Wells, Steven has written on Emile Zola and edited George Griffith’s scientific romance The Angel of the Revolution (2012) for Victorian Secrets. His most recent work is on literature and aeronautics, an area he has published on in the Journal of Literature and Science and in

Read more

Building a Special Collections Resource: A Few Reflections

The Punch and the Victorian Periodical Press Resource at Liverpool John Moores University was first established in 2008 by Dr Clare Horrocks (Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture, Communication) to provide a repository for the research she conducted on Punch and its contributors for a Curran Fellowship from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP). The Resource not only includes a physical collection of the magazine Punch but also samples of many other popular Victorian periodicals and magazines.  Perhaps the most

Read more

Matrimonial Advertising: A Very Brief Madness?

By Jennifer Phegley Mrs. Punch: “A man ought to be punished for writing such idiotic love-letters.” Mr. Punch: “Logical as ever, my adored . . . but it is in the fitness of things that a love letter should be idiotic. Love is a brief (very brief) madness.” “On Love Letters.” Punch (December 11, 1869): 236. As Mr. and Mrs. Punch’s conversation indicates, love letters were a central part of courtship that could easily go awry.  In this scene, Mr.

Read more

Sarah Wah, ”The Most Churlish of Celebrities’: George Eliot, John Cross and the Question of High Status’

Published in 1885, John Cross’s biography of his late wife, George Eliot’s Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals, was written with the intention to ‘make known the woman as well as the author’. Yet, ironically, the biography is renowned precisely for the lack of insight it affords readers into the private life of George Eliot. Why did Cross make a promise that he could not keep? In JVC 15.3, Sarah Wah seeks to answer this question by examining

Read more