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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIII. The Victorian Age, Part One.

IX. Thackeray

§ 5. Thackeray’s contributions to Punch

Thackeray began to contribute to Punch in July, 1842, with Miss Tickletoby’s Lectures on English History. This dispiriting beginning was followed by a long succession of contributions, some trifling and indifferent, others, such as the revival of Yellowplush’s mannerisms in Jeames’s Diary (1845) and the parodies of Mr. Punch’s Prize Novelists (1847), brimming over with ludicrous invention. A Legend of the Rhine, written for Cruikshank’s Table Book in 1845, was the first of the mock-heroic medieval tales which include Barbazure and the inimitable Rebecca and Rowena. A tour to the east in 1844 was recorded in Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo (1846), a medley, after the manner of The Irish Sketch Book, of pleasant observation and criticism of men and countries, with much lively description. During 1846 and the beginning of 1847, he wrote for Punch the papers entitled The Snobs of England, by one of themselves, afterwards published as The Book of Snobs. But, while the Snob papers were approaching completion, the monthly numbers of Vanity Fair were beginning to appear from the office of Punch.