First Bouquets, Big Heads and Obstinate Horses: Illustrating the Victorian Pantomime

Jim Davis


This paper explores the ways in which different illustrated periodicals mediated the English Christmas pantomime to their readers from the 1860s-1890s. It analyses the styles and genres of illustration associated with certain periodicals and certain artists, using as its starting point Charles Green’s watercolour ‘Her First Bouquet’, an engraving of which was one of the earliest illustrations to appear in The Graphic. Illustrations of scenes from pantomimes and of preparations for the pantomime, as well as the use of pantomime for political satires, are discussed. A stylistic change in the way pantomimes were depicted at the turn of the century is also noted

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Popular Entertainment Studies ISSN 1837-9303