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Puppetry in Scotland

Timber Idol Puppet Book

A Timber Idol: Mr Punch in Scotland, has been some 15 years in research and preparation.

This well-illustrated book uncovers Mr Punch’s earliest appearances in Scotland, and travels almost 350 years in time with him, as he makes his appearances on the fairgrounds, on city and town streets, on the beach, on Music Hall stages, at bazaars, fetes and similar events.

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Gilpress has been created as the self-publishing imprint for a project, which studies historical aspects of puppetry in Scotland. The first book to be produced, "A Timber Idol", is on the subject of Mr Punch in Scotland.

The evidence of Mr Punch’s travels has been unearthed from many different sources: council and private archives, local studies libraries and special collections, museums, art galleries, newspapers, genealogy material, published memoirs, biographies and recollections of the “olden days.”

The evidence has been presented in such a way as to demonstrate that Mr Punch has a long history in Scotland: no surprise really, when we consider that Mr Punch has a fundamental lack of respect and mistrust for authority and pomposity, and a dislike of anyone trying to push him into his corner.

The book also considers some of the criticisms of this folk character and his play, and we see that these criticisms are nothing new, but despite that, the Punch and Judy show can be seen as very simple and harmless fun. Click the link on the box on the right to buy this book on Puppetry in Scotland.

This website also offers a brief insight into Ventriloquism in Scotland and if you have any questions about the book or the subject matter you can contact us.