The Compleat History of Ally Sloper: 1 ~ Judy’s Speech, 01-05-1867

Prey! Silence please! Here commences the tale of your humble narrator, Mr. A. Sloper, from his somewhat chequered beginnings through to his career as an eminent Litterateur; one who was, if not loved by all, then certainly tolerated by some.

Where better to start this story than on that most auspicious of dates, a time of new beginnings – May 1st in the year 1867. This was the day Judy, the ever young and lovely, chose to begin her self-monikered periodical, ‘Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal’. Having employed an eager young editor by the name of Charles H. Ross she launched her new publication onto the sea of public approval (being a sea already filled with a flotilla of papers and periodicals; some at full sail, some listing precariously and some sunk).

In this first issue the name of Sloper has not yet been bandied about by all and sundry, but it is here we must begin the tale. So, from that very first issue here is a reproduction of the very first page (after the countless advertisements for wine, gamps, knickerbockers, pills, potions, &c.) where Judy gives her opening speech and declares her intent:

First edition of Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal. 1st May 1867. Ally Sloper.

It would take another three months or thereabouts for myself and my good friend business acquaintance Isaac Moses to insinuate ourselves into Judy’s good book, which we will see in the next installment.

In the mean time, we have a hint of Sloperism in the issue dated 12th June 1867, in which some crooked fellow uses the name in his address. There he is, just above the advertisement for Dr. Sepulchre’s Celebrated Coffin Lozenges.

What some people will do to obtain money from the hard-working men and women of this fine country of ours! Lozenges, indeed!

Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal. Victorian humour. Ally Sloper.

POLITE NOTICE: If you would like to keep abreast of the doings of A. Sloper (and what right-minded, free-spirited individual like your good self would not?) then please do subscribe to receive the continuing installments as and when I liberate them from the pages of Judy. All free and gratis, of course.

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