Punch’s Dream of Things Egyptian: So of Khedive, and Needle, and Canal. Wood engraving by Swain from a drawing by John Tenniel from Punch’s Almanacks Second Series, 1862-1880 [Click on image to enlarge it.]

In his easy chair (at bottom left) Mr. Punch dreams of bringing together Britannia and Egypt, who appear as female figures at the picture’s bottom center at the base of Cleopatra’s needle. At the far right we see Disraeli, now Lord Beaconsfield, wearing a crown that slips down, showing that it is too big for him, as he looks at a sphinx (on wheels) bearing his own face!

Above him on the right side we see Darwin trying to explain evolutionary theory to an Egyptian figure, who holds a scroll or book bearing the words, “Races of Man” while a monkey (chimpanzee?) and an ibis stand at their feel. In the top right-hand corner a figure (John Hanning Speke?) peers through papyrus reeds at the source of the Nile. At the left above the dreaming Mr. Punch appear figures involved with financing the Suez Canal.

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Last modified 8 December 2017