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Drawings: G1193


Dan Leno's Light-Horse



Reed, Edward Tennyson [ Print made by ]




width (frame): 50.5cm
height (frame): 43cm

Other materials

Pen and ink


'"Dan Leno's Light-Horse" / (raised for special service in South Africa) / Original drawing for "Punch" / To Mr and Mrs Tinsley Lindley with / all kindest regards from / E.T. Reed / nov. 1902'
'Unathorised Rumours / The [report] that Colonel Sir Daniel Leno is raising a regiment of light horse drawn entirely from the stage circles is [we regret to learn, without] foundation!


Drawing originally published in "Punch" magazine, 10th January 1900. Purchased from Abbott and Holder Ex. Collection: Ronald Searle (1920-2011)

Caricature of music hall comedian, Dan Leno leading actors; Henry Irving, Franklin Dyall (possibly), Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Roy Byford (possibly), William Sidney Penley, Norman Forbes Robertson, Corney Grain and Edmund Payne. All are in military uniforms, holding guns and swords.

Published at the time of the Anglo-Bower war, the joke refers to Leno's acts as the "Household Cavalryman" performed at the Pavillion in 1900. During the time of the war Dan Leno became a symbol of home to many soldiers, who often wrote him letters and sent war momentos to him. At the time leno was appearing in "Jack and the Beanstalk" which made overt references, the giant representing the Boers and Jack representing the British.
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