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Mr. Punch's Railway Book   By: (1820-1914)

Mr. Punch's Railway Book by John Tenniel

First Page:

MR. PUNCH'S RAILWAY BOOK

[Illustration]

PUNCH LIBRARY OF HUMOUR

Edited by J. A. HAMMERTON

Designed to provide in a series of volumes, each complete in itself, the cream of our national humour, contributed by the masters of comic draughtsmanship and the leading wits of the age to "Punch," from its beginning in 1841 to the present day.

[Illustration: "READING BETWEEN THE LINES"]

MR. PUNCH'S RAILWAY BOOK

WITH 160 ILLUSTRATIONS

BY PHIL MAY, GEORGE DU MAURIER, CHARLES KEENE, JOHN LEECH, SIR JOHN TENNIEL, E. T. REED, L. RAVENHILL, J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE, REGINALD CLEAVER, AND MANY OTHER HUMOROUS ARTISTS

[Illustration]

PUBLISHED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PROPRIETORS OF "PUNCH"

THE EDUCATIONAL BOOK CO. LTD.

PUNCH LIBRARY OF HUMOUR

Twenty five volumes, crown 8vo, 192 pages fully illustrated

LIFE IN LONDON COUNTRY LIFE IN THE HIGHLANDS SCOTTISH HUMOUR IRISH HUMOUR COCKNEY HUMOUR IN SOCIETY AFTER DINNER STORIES IN BOHEMIA AT THE PLAY MR. PUNCH AT HOME ON THE CONTINONG RAILWAY BOOK AT THE SEASIDE MR. PUNCH AFLOAT IN THE HUNTING FIELD MR. PUNCH ON TOUR WITH ROD AND GUN MR. PUNCH AWHEEL BOOK OF SPORTS GOLF STORIES IN WIG AND GOWN ON THE WARPATH BOOK OF LOVE WITH THE CHILDREN

A WORD AT STARTING

[Illustration]

ONLY a few years before MR. PUNCH began his long and brilliant career had passenger trains and a regular system of railway travelling come into existence. In his early days it was still very much of a novelty to undertake a journey of any length by train; a delightful uncertainty prevailed not only as to the arrival at a given destination, but equally as to getting away from a starting place. Naturally, the pens and pencils of his clever contributors were then frequently in use to illustrate the humours of railway travel, and even down to the present time MR. PUNCH has not failed to find in the railway and its associations "a source of innocent merriment."

It must be admitted that some thirty years ago the pages of PUNCH literally teemed with biting satires on the management of our railways, and the fact that his whole hearted denunciations of the inefficient service, the carelessness which resulted in frequent accidents, the excessive charges, the inadequate accommodation, could have been allowed to pass without numerous actions for libel, is proof of the enormous advantages which the present generation enjoys in this great matter of comfortable, rapid and inexpensive transit. Where MR. PUNCH in his wrath, as voicing the opinion of the public, was wont to ridicule and condemn the railways and all associated therewith, we to day are as ready, and with equal reason, to raise our voice in praise. But ridicule is ever a stronger impulse to wit than is appreciation, and in these later days when we are all alive to the abounding merits of our railway system MR. PUNCH has had less to say about it. If we were to cull from his pages written in the days of his wrath we might be held guilty of presenting a gross travesty of the conditions now obtaining. Thus it is that in one or two cases only have we retained passages from his earlier chronicles, such as "Rules for the Rail" and "The Third Class Traveller's Petition," which have some historical value as reminders that the railway comfort of the present day presents a remarkable contrast to the not very distant past.

To day every member of the community may be regarded as a railway traveller, so large a part does the railway play in modern life; and it will be admitted that, with all our improvements, the element of humour has not been eliminated from our comings and goings by train. We trust it never may. Here, then, is a compilation of the "best things," literary and pictorial, that have appeared in MR. PUNCH'S pages on the subject, and with his cheery presence as our guard, let us set forth upon our excursion into the Realm of Fun!

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