The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of

Punch and Judy

Script by John Collier
- based on Piccini's Punch & Judy Show dating from the early 1800's.

Illustrations by George Cruickshank
- 27 original lithographs and etchings.


The Punch Page is pleased to be able to present a pdf file (1.9MB) facsimile of the script and illustrations from an 1832 edition of the original book published by S. Prowett in London in 1828.

This book has had a lot of influence on Punch & Judy scholars, performers and “professors” throughout the world ever since it was published. For example, a copy was found in the personal library of Prof. Charles Mack who performed a celebrated Punch & Judy Show throughout the northeastern United States from the 1890’s through the 1920’s.

Collier is said to have taken some liberties when recording Piccini’s version of Punch & Judy. Many British performers have even stated that the Collier/Cruickshank script was totally inaccurate. Nonetheless, this book provides us with a glimpse of Punch in his early days and the Cruickshank illustrations have had a major impact of there own on the overall appearance and design of Punch and Judy puppets, props and stages during the past 170 years.

This book is a must for anyone interested in Punch and Judy. The pdf file will take about 5-10 minutes to download depending on your connection, but it is most definitely well worth the time.

PDF file Notes
The pdf file of the Collier/Cruickshank book is the result of great work by Punch & Judy fan Christopher van Der Craats of Australia. He shares his thoughts on the importance of understanding and honoring Punch & Judy traditions.

The Punch Page

pdf file
(1.9MB) of The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Punch and Judy by Collier & Cruickshank, 1832.