Meerschaums, Dandies, and London Leisure

Meerschaums and Dandies in Punch 1877

To the left is a humorous piece from Punch (1877) that makes fun of the tendency in Victorian culture to depart the cities on the weekends to enjoy the scenery of the countryside. One thing you’ll notice in this work of satirical poetry is the mention of meerschaum pipes and dandies. This ties in nicely with our brief discussion of Robert Audley last class. What do you think is the source of this humor? What are the writers for Punch suggesting about changes in leisure practices in the age of modern transportation?

One thought on “Meerschaums, Dandies, and London Leisure

  1. The dandies “deflowering” the countryside for their own pleasure and own superficial need brings about the destruction of that which the dandies thought was “so pretty” and “so nice.” Their desire to possess and take that which inspires them home with them leaves the actual landscape and source of their inspiration barren for others. It’s almost like what happens on the internet with popular memes. A few are funny, but the overload of material can desecrate and overshadow the initial good in the first idea or inspiration. After the idea has been “used up,” others may look st the source of the horrid flood of ideas with scorn instead of reverent admiration.

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