The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose

The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose : From William Caxton to P.G.Wodehouse - A Conducted Tour

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In this magisterial collection, Frank Muir guides the reader on a journey of discovery and delight through five centuries of humorous prose in the English language. Starting in London with William Caxton and a Preface written and printed in 1477, and ending with P. G. Wodehouse whose last novel was published in 1977, the route is meandering: from England to Ireland and Scotland, back to England again, on to America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are examples chosen from humorous fiction, letters, and journalism written by over 200 authors and ranging from medieval jests to the New Yorker and Beachcomber; from Thomas Nashe and Tom Brown's galloping bawdy to Jane Austen and on to Garrison Keillor and Arthur Marshall; from the jokes in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary to Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim and his hangover. The great humorous writers such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and P. G. Wodehouse are given a kind of mini-anthology of their own so that the range and versatility of their work can be appreciated. The extracts are embedded in a commentary that sets the writers in their historical context with items of contemporary gossip and anecdotal biography.As tour leader of this enjoyable enterprise, there could be no one better than Frank Muir to entertain, inform, and above all amuse the reader in his own distinctive fashion.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 137.16 x 185.42 x 53.34mm | 748.42g
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • None
  • 0192803794
  • 9780192803795

Table of contents

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About Frank Muir

Frank Muir was a writer of humorous prose for over 40 years. As a broadcaster he appeared regularly on 'Call My Bluff' on television, and 'My Word' and 'My Music' on radio, and collaborated with Denis Norden for many years as a comedy scriptwriter. His books include compilations from the 'My Word' and 'Frank Muir goes into' radio series, children's books featuring the Afghan puppy What-a-Mess, and The Frank Muir Book: An Irreverent Companion to Social History (1976). He was elected Rector of the University of St Andrews 1977-9, and held honorary degrees from both the University of St Andrews and Kent. In 1980 he was awarded the CBE. He died in 1998.
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77 ratings
4.41 out of 5 stars
5 60% (46)
4 23% (18)
3 16% (12)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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