Punch,  55 (1868), 78.

Our Fish, Flesh, Fowl, and Natural History Column. Notice to the Public  [1/4]



Serial—Introduction, Drollery; Letter, Spoof; Editorial, Spoof

Relevant illustrations:



E J E *


Natural History, Animal Behaviour, Zoology, Periodicals, Entomology, Hunting, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Microscopy

People mentioned:

Francis T Buckland

Publications cited:

Land and Water

    The initial letter of the text forms part of an illustration showing two rabbits taking afternoon tea in a field. The text begins by announcing the establishment of a 'Special Editor' to answer questions on 'Fishing, Shooting, Hunting, Management of Farms and Dairies, &c', and to give information on natural historical subjects. Asks those sending in natural historical specimens to provide 'full particulars' and boasts that 'Lusus Naturae' and other objects will be examined. Presents a few 'specimens' of correspondence illustrating how the 'Sporting Editor' handles material artefacts sent by readers, or natural historical questions. The remarks of both editor and correspondents poke fun at the style and content of correspondence columns in natural history periodicals, the correspondents asking often absurdly mundane questions, and the editor replying with impractical advice. For example, in response to a correspondent who sent in a species with the question, 'What's this?', the editor replied, 'We don't know what the deuce it is, but directly the hamper was unpacked, it flew at us, growling and barking fearfull'; in response to correspondent who asked how to get rid of a 'plague of flies', the editor suggests forcing flies to drink fatal doses of laudanum.

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