Punch,  40 (1861), 46.

The Reality of Cloud-Land



Letter, Spoof


Archaeology, Comparative Philology, Controversy, Meteorology, Analytical Chemistry, Spiritualism

Publications cited:

Peacock [1860?]

    Opens by noting a dispute between Mr Punch and William F Peacock over the interpretation of some skulls 'lately found at Wroxeter', remains which Mr Punch considers to be those of monsters killed by 'jack the giant killer'. Proceeds to discuss an exchange between Giovanni Campani and Carlo Matteucci over some red rain that allegedly fell on Sienna the previous December. Reports that both Campani and Matteucci have shown that the rain contained no cobalt (which was found in a previous shower of red rain), but insists that the rain 'must [...] be a chemical solution of something'. Denying the role of 'whirlwinds and waterspouts' in the production of red rain, argues that the phenomenon is the claret spilled by the giant in the legend of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The writer concludes by confessing that he is a 'whole hog Spiritualist' and in a postscript he anticipates the effects of table-rapping and the possibility of showers of coins.

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