THE CABINET BUILDER. - an original printed appearance of this Second World War cartoon featuring British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill from the 25 February 1942 edition of the magazine Punch, or The London Charivari
London: Punch, 1942. 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 "THE CABINET BUILDER." appeared thus on p.157 of the 25 February 1942 issue of Punch. The artist is Bernard Partridge. The cartoon is captioned "Quite effective in its way! I hope the one I've just made will do as well." Churchill had been Britain's wartime Prime Minister for 21 months. Taking a cue from former Prime Minister David Lloyd George (in whose First World War cabinet Churchill had served), Churchill had adopted a smaller War Cabinet, reducing it to seven with the departure of Arthur Greenwood and Kingsley Wood, Beaverbrook's (finally accepted) resignation, and the addition of Stafford Cripps. Most agreed that this was a good idea and led to more efficiency. The War Cabinet now comprised Churchill, Attlee, Anderson, Eden, Bevin, Cripps, and Lyttleton.
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 #007164