Page 9 - The 16th Percy French Festival: Our Great Disconnect
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with a rich vein of humorous content, with the newspaper often taking particular
           delight in mocking the af ected accents and ef ete mannerisms of some of the
           men who attended these events. Illustrated reviews of opera performances and
           art exhibitions–mostly in Dublin, but occa sionally in Belfast–were clearly pitched
           at an elite readership.  The servants and other domestic staf  who constituted an

           impor tant element of the domestic households of Irish polite society also featured
           fre quently in the cartoons and comic written sketches of The Jarvey. It is not dif  cult
           to see why contemporaries sometimes referred to The Jarvey as ‘The Irish Punch’,
           a descriptive term that occasionally features in the pages of French’s newspaper.

           The biggest dif erence between the two publications is that The Jarvey largely
           avoided contemporary politics in its pages. This was in stark contrast to Punch,
           which not only published an ‘Essence of Parliament’ column (’Extracted from the
           Diary of Toby, M.P.’), which gave humorous summaries of each week’s pro ceedings
           in both houses of the Westminster parliament, but regularly com mented on other
           political events, including Irish topics. French spelled out The Jarvey’s political
           stance–or, more correctly, its lack of one–in the news paper’s very f rst issue. The
           publication’s opening sentence stated: ‘As it is possible that we may be accused
           of a want of crispness and distinctness in our remarks on contemporary politics,
           it is perhaps better that we should at once def ne that position which we shall for
           ever occupy in the eyes of the world’. This was followed by a poem, ‘Political Creed’,
           which at f rst glance seemed to indicate that The Jarvey would have a Nationalist
           viewpoint. However, after readers read this poem they were then instructed

                               top Illus. 4.  Percy French at work on The Jarvey. Source:  The Jarvey, 27th April 1889.
                    above Illus. 5.  ’The Parlour Elocution Evil–Let it be Suppressed’. Cartoon in The Jarvey, 30th March 1889.

           OUR GREAT DISCON N EC T                                              •7•
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