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Lord Randolph Churchill

The Moon and I

A Victorian greeting card, published by Hidlesheimer & Faulkner, depicting Lord Randolph Churchill sitting on a crescent moon playing a mandolin. He was Leader of the House of Commons and Chancellor of the Exchequer aged just 37, the political career of Winston Churchill’s father ended in 1886.

Caricature of Lord Randolph ChurchillThe words come from The Mikado, from "The Sun Whose Rays". The Mikado, a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, opened in March 1885.

Yum-Yum, the woman who sings it is complimenting herself on her own beauty and ambition which would be seen to fit the politician and statesman.

The lyrics that appear on the greetings card:
Ah, pray make no mistake,
We are not shy;
We're very wide awake,
The moon and I!

Lord Randolph Churchill was a favourite target of cartoonist in the Victorian era as this item confirms, from Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, an illustrated newspaper of the 1880s :
A good many wise acres have already laughed loudly and long at Lord Randolph Churchill. He has been caricatured over and over again in comic papers of all sorts, Tory and Liberal alike, and has survived it.

As G K Chesterton noted "... he was a much larger man than satire depicted him, and therefore the satire could not and did not overwhelm him".



This regular feature shows special items from members’ own collections. Submissions by email should include a scan of the item.