The Edwardians' fear of massive insects.

Friday, 14 September 2012

If the good people at TNT hadn't delivered the bonus of a massive spider to my house today (along with the table, I was having delivered), I wouldn't have stumbled upon these excellent pictures - so, thank you, TNT.* 

The Strand Magazine – in which Arthur Conan Doyle published his Sherlock Holmes short stories - ran this bizarre feature in 1910: ‘If Insects Were Bigger.’ 

In the article, ordinary British insects have been enlarged and entered into contemporary London street scenes, all for no readily apparent reason. 

“What a terrible calamity, what a stupefying circumstance, if mosquitoes were the size of camels, and a herd of wild slugs the size of elephants invaded our gardens and had to be shot with rifles!” 

(Yeah, but they aren’t.)

“A Lacewing Fly Spreads Consternation in Wellington Street.”

“Terrible Attack by a Larva of the Puss-Moth at Covent Garden.”(I think I remember this one - it was in all the papers.)

“Fierce Onslaught by an Earwig in St. James’s Street.”

“The Araneus Diadema Spider Descends Upon Trafalgar Square.”

*Having gone mano-a-spido with the beast, I emerged victorious. Though it was touch-and-go for a while there. 

Get updates via email

Join 382 other awesome people who subscribe to new posts on this blog.

Comments

Karen Baines
Karen Baines says:

Strangely I encountered such a spider only this morning. I swear it was the size of a dinner plate and sported a comedy moustache. Eeek

September 18, 2012

E O Higgins
E O Higgins says:

Maybe it was in disguise?

September 19, 2012

Anne Bradshaw
Anne Bradshaw says:

Fabulous! - and so very quirkily British.

September 19, 2012

Join in the conversation

Sign in to comment