‘Happy may your Christmas be’

With its pedals mounted on a large front wheel, the ‘penny farthing’ bicycle must have been difficult to ride. Combining that with reading the Times newspaper is just showing off.

Rather than a Christmas card this feels like it should be a road safety advertisement. This is really the Victorian equivalent of driving down a motorway while scrolling through your Twitter feed.

To a modern eye the most Christmassy element of the image is the cyclist’s outfit. It looks like something Noddy Holder might have worn as Slade played Merry Xmas Everybody on Top of the Pops.

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