‘He’ll Roast All Subjects That May Need the Roasting’: Puck and Mr Punch in Nineteenth-Century China
This chapter examines two Punch-inspired English-language periodicals published in colonial enclaves in nineteenth-century China: The China Punch (1867–1868, 1872–1876) and Puck, or the Shanghai Charivari (April 1871-November 1872). The former was a subsidiary publication of the newspaper The China Mail, which since its inception in 1845 had been the ‘Official Organ of all Government Notifications’ in the British colony of Hong Kong; the latter was issued quarterly by a printing and stationary company in treaty-port Shanghai. Both periodicals featured staples akin to London’s Punch (1841–1992) such as whole-page caricatures, comedic verses, wry commentaries on local society and politics, filler jokes, and editorials written in the voice of their namesake trickster. Each struggled to solicit contributions from its small Anglophone community and ultimately ceased publication upon the abrupt departure of a proprietor.