Monday, 21 September 2020

Phil May - part 18

1901 Self-Portrait
pencil on paper 15.9 x 10.2 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London

Philip William May was a caricaturist. He was born near Leeds and was the son of an engineer who died when May was nine years old. May worked in a variety of jobs before moving to London, and shortly afterward to Australia, when he was seventeen. In Australia he found work with the Sydney Bulletin, and in just three years produced over 800 drawings for the Bulletin. On his return to London in 1892 May drew for the St Stephen's Review; his studies of the London guttersnipes and coster-girls rapidly made him famous. He became a regular member of the staff of Punch in 1896, and in his later years his services were retained exclusively for Punch and The Graphic.

For full biographical notes on Phil May see part 1, and for earlier works, see parts 1 - 17 also.

This is part 18 of a 22-part series on the works of Phil May:

1896 Humourists of the Pencil. Phil May
published by Punch magazine:

Front Cover

"Are you comin' 'ome?"

"Everything comes to him that 'waits.' "

"Gentlemen, I am ready to admit that his Career in the Past has not been free from Blemish -"

"Look what I've bought you for a Christmas Box!"

"Nice for the Visitors."

"Oi tell yez Oi will not clane out me Cell.
Oi'd lave the Jail furrst!"

"Perfick Lidy"...

"Please to remember the Waiter."

"Poor likkle Doggie - hasn't got any Fevvers on!"

"Tell your Fortune, Pretty Gentleman?"

"The Anchor's Weighed."

"What Bait are yer usin', Billie?"...

"Where did yer spend yer 'Olidays, Bob?"
"Souf o' France, o' course!"

"Hi Billy! are yer Movin'?"

"Penny 'Addick."
"No: thick 'un!"

"The Cow was the Stamp to Impress Superior Butter."

A Bi-Metallistic Discussion.

A Business Announcement.

A Neglected Industry.

A Sketch from Life.

A Sketch near Piccadilly.

A Sunday Dinner.

A Yorkshire Gossip.

An Important Junction.

An Informal Introduction.

Bill Sykes (reading)...


Botany: Or, a Day in the Country.

Clerk of Booking-Office...


Cruel !

Editor of Libellous Rag...

Enthusiastic Briton...

Fashionable and Seasonable.

First Boy. "Give us a Bite of your Apple, Bob."...

First Genius to Second Genius...

First Newspaper Boy...

Foggy Weather.

The Motor 'Bus.

Fussy Old Lady...

Importunate Street Urchin...


Little Guttersnipe...

May 1. The Sweeps' Festival.

New Assistant...

Of Vital Importance.

Old Jones...

Past and Present.


Pickings from Picardy.

Politics and Gallantry.

Preaching and Practising.

"What's up with Sal?"
"Ain't yer 'erd? She's Married agin!"

Ragged Urchin...



Small Voice from under the Bed...

So Inviting!

So That Doesn't Count.

So Very Considerate.

Social Evolution.

Songs and their Singers.

Songs and their Singers.

Street Serio (singing)...

The Genial Season.

The Great Prize Fight.

The Healing Art.

The Plunger.


Youngster (who has just had a Penny given to him.)..