Happy Holidays!

Click for full size!

Shamelessly ripped off of the First Christmas card, 1843:



Brunel connection! The guy who drew the card, John Horsley, was Brunel’s brother-in-law and close friend. He painted several portraits of him, this is the most Christmasy one on account of the red cheeks (of which Horsley seems to have been rather over-fond)

Babbage connection: the business brain behind the Christmas Card, Henry Cole, worked with Rowland Hill on the introduction of the Penny Post, of which Babbage claims to have been the inspirer (though historians of the postal variety dispute this).

Lovelace connection: None found. :(

This has been quite the year here at 2dgoggles, over which the shadowy, colossal form of The Book towers like a.. big.. towering.. thing… plagued by myriad frustrations… and capped by the Great Hard Drive Apocalypse of November 2012 (FAIL, Mayans, off by a month!). Fear not OF COURSE I had multiple backups are you CRAZY? In any event we are BACK IN BUSINESS and 2013 shall be the Year of The Comics.

I leave you with a spirited Seasonal Tune! Wait for the carol which even Babbage might approve of! Well, tolerate… happy holidays everyone!


  1. Skauthen on June 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Had no idea the xmas card was such a late invention…

  2. jon on January 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Yours is a work of staggering brilliance. Just delightful in every way. I’m so pleased to have been brought to it!

  3. Sparks on December 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Happy Babbage Birthday to 2D Goggles. :)

  4. Mary Ellen on December 23, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Thank you, Sydney! The card is great, even though I can’t claim to be Henry Cole’s “Good friend, John Thompson, Esq” (see card’s very top and bottom). But which of us can?

    The Brunel portrait — I took one look and said to myself, “That looks like it’s influenced by Vermeer”, and then I wondered how likely that was, given the 1857 date. Vermeer was pretty much unknown except to a very few connoisseur types before the publications about him (in French) by the political journalist and art researcher Thore-Burger began to appear 10 years later. Not only that: scattered earlier accounts left in the 1850s by the few writers outside Holland who were aware of Vermeer were all reactions to seeing “The View of Delft” – a landscape – in Amsterdam. But Horsley’s portrait of Brunel is almost a direct steal (aka hommage!) from Vermeer’s intimate portraits of female letter-writers, as can be seen by going to http://www.nga.gov/kids/vermeer-aladywriting.htm. So where and when did Horsley see any of those?

    Thore-Burger spent years researching Vermeer’s stuff in private hands, buying them himself when he could — often they had been attributed to somebody else, because Vermeer had been almost totally lost to written art history after the late 1600s.

    Horsley did love the better-known 17th century Dutch genre masters, and did many pictures that echoed their themes and compositions. But in 1857 you couldn’t just walk into a museum or gallery and say, “Point me toward the Vermeer portraits. Want to base a painting of my brother in law on one of ’em.” Did he know some private collectors in Holland, maybe? Nice little mystery.

  5. Rico on December 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    The card is lovely. Merry Christmas to you and your family (real and inked).

  6. Kaazz on December 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you for the LOVELY card! I’m going to print it out and hang it with the other cards we’ve received in the mail – I love it so much!!

    And, yes, a Merry Christmas to you! May 2013 be The Year of the Book (without problems, delays, headaches and the like)! :-)

  7. Skylark on December 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Yes, I’m glad you saved everything! This comic, sporadic though it may seem to the unenlightened, is quite simply fantastic. And as soon as The Book is available I shall certainly purchase it. Also, the Christmas carol is my new favorite Christmas song, or possibly song in general. (And many of my Christmas toys will be from Doctor Who, too.) Happy holidays!

  8. John on December 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Backups are good things. It seems like I’ve lost more hard drives in the last two or three years than I have before. Probably because systems abuse them more.

    But I’ve learned, at the first, vaguest sign of trouble, just buy a new one. They’re cheaper than than wasting days worrying about how to restore a particular backup or tring to find a decent drive when it’s an emergency.

    Happy holidays, all! Except for the people who finished celebrating Hanukkah, like, weeks ago. You guys feel free to crash someone else’s holiday.