1st Edition

Cartooning China Punch, Power, & Politics in the Victorian Era

By Amy Matthewson Copyright 2022
    188 Pages 77 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    188 Pages 77 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    188 Pages 77 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

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    This book explores the series of cartoons of China and the Chinese that were published in the popular British satirical magazine Punch over a sixty-year period from 1841 to 1901.

    Filled with political metaphors and racial stereotypes, these illustrations served as a powerful tool in both reflecting and shaping notions and attitudes towards China at a tumultuous time in Sino-British history. A close reading of both the visual and textual satires in Punch reveals how a section of British society visualised and negotiated with China as well as Britain’s position in the global community. By contextualising Punch’s cartoons within the broader frameworks of British socio-cultural and political discourse, the author engages in a critical enquiry of popular culture and its engagements with race, geopolitical propaganda, and public consciousness.

    With a wide array of illustrations, this book in the Global Perspectives in Comics Studies series will be an important resource for scholars and researchers of cultural studies, political history and Empire, Chinese studies, popular culture, Victoriana, as well as media studies. It will also be of interest to readers who want to learn more about Punch, its history, and Sino-British relations.

    List of illustrations

    Series editor’s preface


    1 Introduction

    2 “Gentlemen, the cartoon!”: the men behind the magazine

    3 “Punch is an English Institution”: the attitude of the magazine

    4 “A Chinese Puzzle”: the trajectory of negating China

    5 “A Legacy of Discord”: war and rebellion

    6 Conclusion




    Amy Matthewson has a PhD degree in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, United Kingdom.