27 | 12 | 2019

Mr Shirley Brooks, third editor of Punch, Obituary

Mr Shirley Brooks

Source: Pictorial News Complete Issue here:

The third editor of Punch has passed away. Mr. Shirley Brooks only survived his predecessor about three years. He passed away tranquilly, with his family around him, and his death leaves a serious blank in the working ranks of literature. Charles Shirley Brooks, the son of Mr. Brooks, a well- known London architect, was born in 1815. He was articled to a solicitor but, during his clerkship, he commenced to write novels. He passed a distinguished examination before the incorporated Law Society; but he never practised in his legal capacity. He preferred journalism and literature. The stage first attracted him. He wrote a number of short pieces that were successfully produced at the Lyceum, Olympic, and other theatres. “Our New Governess,” “Honours and Tricks,” “The Creole,” “ Anything for a Change,” are among the best of his dramatic works. In an after-dinner speech, he once said that he had written as many plays as Shakespeare, only they were not so well known. During this playwright period of his life he was introduced to the conductors of The Morning Chronicle, to which he contributed some excellent articles. His industry and intelligence commended him so highly to the editor that Mr. Brooks was appointed summary writer in the gallery of the House of Commons, which position he held for five or six years. To his knowledge of the forms and character of the House we may attribute much of the grace- ful point of his “ Essence of Parliament ” in Punch. Meanwhile, however, he had been despatched on a tour through Russia, Asia Minor, and Egypt, as a commissioner from the Chronicle, to investigate the condition of the agricultural classes ip that part of the world. His letters upon the subject attracted much attention, and were afterwards republished under....(Continued in full in the Issue)

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