In his holiday mood Mr. Punch goes into the depths of the country,clambers up mountains, foots it along strange roads, but jolly though these adventures may be, he comes back again and again to the sea, and cares not how he travels there, so long as he travels quickly. He shows a particular fondness for the crowded beach ; for sea-fishing; sailing boats, bathers;sand games ; paddlers; for amateur yachtsmen (especially in difficulties);beach-musicians and photographers; “old Salts,” and deck-chair men, and the landlady who—not being on holiday-is, understandably, anxious to get
all she can from folk who are.Of the artists whose work is represented in this volume-Mr. Wallis Mills tops the list in numbers-all receive some mention in other volumes, but here.particularly that great Punch cartoonist L. Raven-Hill seems to appear if not most often at any rate most noticeably among the galaxy of stars in comedy,the special bent of his genius, which is seen in a kindly but penetrating revelation of uncommon character, having freest play among the holiday-making folk. Here also are to be found an unusual number of drawings by
Mr. E. H. Shepard, than whom surely none other in Mr. Punch’s long succession of gifted draughtsmen has more effectively united so pure a sense of the sheer beauty of line with so keen a sense of the comic. The pictorial waggeries of Mr. George Morrow, so long a popular feature of Punch, also happen to make a considerable show in this volume.THE authors have found their fun-material everywhere in holiday-land,and whether they describe the humours of a one-day’s outing on Hamp-stead Heath or go farther afield, they know all about the things of which we wish to read. They remind us of the wet days in the boarding-house; the well-intentioned people who advise us where to go, and where not to go, the scenes of confusion at railway stations; the problems of lost luggage; heat when we are already too hot; adventures on the pier; swimming costumes;and most of the subjects which the artists have illustrated, and which are sometimes less amusing at the time of happening than in the retrospect.But in his care-free holiday mood Mr. Punch can make even an over-
crowded train a place of entertainment, and he is equally happy in the motor-
coach ; on the thronged “front”; in the motor-drawn caravan or with the
presumably happy hiker. Children, of course, are very much in evidence
during holiday-time, and though in “Mr. Punch’s Children’s Hour” they have a whole book to themselves, we find them constantly figuring in the present volume. That was inevitable; for though they may drive their parents or nursemaids to the limit of harassment, or prevent elderly gentlemen on the beach from snoozing away the afternoon, they themselves get vast enjoyment out of everything, and very cleverly Mr. Punch’s fun-makers pass some of that joy on to us.
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