Sunday, May 21, 2006


During the late 40's & 50's Searle worked for British satirical magazine PUNCH. His most famous contribution was his version of Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress' featuring the rise & fall of many 'modern types'.
They were published in a comic strip format as below.

When Searle eventually started his own publishing outfit, PERPETUA BOOKS, he published the Rake's Progress series collected into one volume.

The following are scans where each panel was published as a single full page.

In August 1973, New York magazine, Town & Country, published a more contemporary saga entitled 'Emergence of MS-tique USA (1973) with a nod to Hogarth's A Rake's Progress' (1733).

The Rake's Progress: The M. F. H. Punch Date: 9 March 1955 -approx 22cm wide x 29cm high (8 1/2 inch x 11 1/4 inch)

1. PROMISE - Serious fall off rocking-horse. Breaks collar-bone.

2. SUCCESS - Photographed by T*atl*r riding in Grind at Oxford. Elated. Takes the Heythrop. Breaks collar-bone.

3. TRIUMPH - Parades hounds, Lord Mayor's Show. Judges hunters at White City. Trips over Duke of Be*uf*rt. Breaks collar-bone.

4. TEMPTATION - Runs fox to ground in neighbouring county. Starts digging. Spotted by rival M.F.H. Reported.

5. DOWNFALL - Expelled from Master of Foxhounds Association. Takes to drink. Thrown out of Hunt Ball. Breaks collar-bone.

6. RUIN - Fails to renew subscription to H*rse and H*und. Gets job as Pest Officer, East Anglia. Falls off bicycle. Breaks neck.


william wray said...

It's about time! He is the greatest. Has he been extensively interviewed?

Matt Jones said...

Hey Bill Wray, good to hear from you! Despite his 60 year career Searle remains frustatingly aloof. He's lived in France for over 40 years which has made him somewhat inaccessible. There have been several documentaries made about him over the years by the BBC, the most recent was on last year. Entitled 'Searle's Progress' it was made by Brit cartoonist Martin Rowson. The only contempory interview with Searle featured on it however was an AUDIO interview he did for BBC Radio 4's DESERT ISLAND DISCS in 2005.

Jay D Smith said...

good blog!!!


Scarab’ee said...

thanks so much for this blog...

Marc Deckter said...

Hi Matt,

Thanks for starting this great blog!

I found the link on Amid's cartoonbrew posting - I'll be checking back frequently!

R.A. MacNeil said...

Fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to scan and post all these.


Matt Jones said...

You're welcome everyone, I'm happy to share the Searle appreciation. LOTS more to come!

MikeS said...


This is a great treat, havne't seen a lot of these, Thanks for sharing your library!