STUDENTS ON THE MAKE. - an original printed appearance of this cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill from the 2 November 1910 edition of the magazine Punch, or The London Charivari
London: Punch, 1910. This original printed appearance of a Punch cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill comes from the personal collection of Gary L. Stiles, author of Churchill in Punch (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2022). His book is the first ever effort to definitively catalog, describe, and contextualize all of the many Punch cartoons featuring Churchill.
This cartoon titled "Students on the Make." appeared thus on p.309 of the 2 November 1910 issue of Punch. The artist is Leonard Raven-Hill. The caption reads: "Mr. F. E. Smith. 'Master of epigram - like me!' Mr. Winston Churchill. 'Wrote a novel in his youth - like me!' Together. 'Traveled in the east - like us. How does it end?' [Mr. W. F. Monypenny's official Life of Disraeli has just been published.]"
Frederick Edwin "F.E." Smith (1872-1930), First Earl of Birkenhead, was a Conservative Member of Parliament, gifted orator, lawyer, and Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. Until his early death at the age of 58, he was the close personal friend and political ally of Winston Churchill. Churchill once said of his friend, "He had all the canine virtues in a remarkable degree – courage, fidelity, vigilance, love of chase." Of Smith's keen mind and vigor of spirit, Churchill said "He burned all his candles at both ends. His physique and constitution seemed to be capable of supporting indefinitely every form of mental and physical exertion." Birkenhead was also a man of letters. In 1931, for a catalogue of books from his friend’s library, Churchill wrote: "Lord Birkenhead was known to the world chiefly as a man of action. Many who had only followed the voluminous and diverse reports of his public life must have been surprised by the tranquil contemplative aspect of his nature revealed by his library. Only when it was dispersed last year was it realised that the eclectic tastes of the scholar, who had become as few others a man of affairs, had been combined with the keen eye and sympathetic insight of the connoisseur…”
In 1911, Smith and Churchill together founded "The Other Club", a private dining club at The Savoy in London. In this image, the two are depicted as trying to compare their parallel talents with those of Disraeli, then projecting their respective futures. Smith's life and career would prove far shorter than that of his friend, Churchill.
Punch or The London Charivari began featuring Churchill cartoons in 1900, when his political career was just beginning. That political career would last two thirds of a century, see him occupy Cabinet office during each of the first six decades of the twentieth century, carry him twice to the premiership and, further still, into the annals of history as a preeminent statesman. And throughout that time, Punch satirized Churchill in cartoons – more than 600 of them, the work of more than 50 different artists.
It was a near-perfect relationship between satirists and subject. That Churchill was distinctive in both persona and physical appearance helped make him easy to caricature. To his persona and appearance he added myriad additional satirical temptations, not just props, like his cigars, siren suits, V-sign, and hats, but also a variety of ancillary avocations and vocations, like polo, painting, brick-laying, and writing. All these were skewered as well.
Some Punch cartoons were laudatory, some critical, and many humorous, like the man himself. Nearly always, Churchill was distinctly recognizable, a larger-than-life character whose presence caricature served only to magnify. Item #007091