How DO you solve a problem like Maria?

I just discovered this hilarious illustration from the Illustrated Police News, which is a self-explanatory sensational Victorian publication. Sadly, I've been trawling the electronic copies my university has access to and I can't find this story at all, so I have no date and no context.

That said, in my search I found another story (from Saturday, July 19, 1890; Issue 1379), this time with context.


This took place in a circus traveling through Paris. Two of the acrobats decided to resolve their differences through a duel. They both fired, no one was hurt, honor was restored.

Unfortunately, they neglected to realize that the monkeys were watching, and had been trained to perform soldiering exercises. Thinking they were being taught a new routine, they picked up the pistols (which I guess the acrobats just left lying around), loaded them themselves, and imitated what they had seen. The monkeys both died instantly.

Just because I don't buy this story for one second doesn't mean it's not awesome.

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5 Responses to How DO you solve a problem like Maria?

  1. leia131 says:

    Oh my GOD, I love this. I’m not for one second convinced that a monkey would be capable of doing that (much less two at the same time) but LOL FOREVER. I don’t suppose it said what kind of monkeys?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Helpfully nitpicking

    So hang on, have you been leaving deliberately malicious comments in the university’s electronic copies in order to spark argument for the lulz, or have you been trawling the electronic copies?

    Douche-ily yours,



    • Re: Helpfully nitpicking

      *BLUSH FACE*. To be fair, “trolling” for something (apart from the internet usage) means to wander through in search of something, where “trawling” means gathering something from many different sources. So one MIGHT say that, yes, I am trolling, though I did mean “trawling”. Shwhoops.

      And also also, YES, I am trolling (internet usage) the 19th century. That too.


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