ILN header

Header for Illustrated London News feature on Pantomime. [Scan by Terry-Lynn Johnson, Lakehead University.] This image, which appeared at the top of the ILN page, shows the fairies often associated with the fairy-tale themed pantos. The central figure, "Clown," may well be a likeness of the nineteenth-century British theatre's most celebrated panto clown, Joey Grimaldi, whose biography was written by Charles Dickens out of gratitude for Grimaldi's stagework when Dickens was but a child. The pseudonym "Crowquill" may be connected to the presiding image of "Clown" since both are "presenting" a rundown of this year's pantomimes in limerick and caricature, appealing to the children and parents alike who will be attending these seasonal theatrical romps that contained fairytale figures and plots for the younger members of the audience, and political and social satire for the older set. Like Dickens's novels, pantomime provided entertainment for ages 8 to 80 — truly family entertainment. — Philip V. Allingham, Contributing Editor, Victorian Web


Crowquill, Alfred. "The Christmas Pantomimes." The Illustrated London News. 31 December 1842. Pp. 536-37.

Last modified 28 January 2007