Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.


On this day in history in 1849, died Pierce Egan

Egan was an early journalist and sportswriter. He made his mark as a boxing commentator, writing a serial publication Boxiana (1813 to 1828), a vivid account of the lives of famous pugilists.

In 1824, he started a monthly publication Life in London, which featured tales of violent street life in the capital, the first instance of popular journalism covering the lives of the lower orders. The two principal characters in these accounts were Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn who became synonomous with aggressive drunken behaviour. The expression ‘Tom and Jerryism’ became a soubriquet for the loutish mannerisms of the London streets.

In the twentieth century, the famous cat and mouse cartoon characters were named after Egan’s protagonists.

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