Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why I bought a rather shabby copy of a book called A Century of Humour

How could I possibly resist this inscription?

In case you can't quite make it out:

From Fred & Ethel

To Jim

Wishing you a very happy Christmas & good New Year


I figure it has to be from the Mertzes. How many Fred & Ethels can there be? In 1934, they would have been 40ish and (I hope) relatively happy.

(Bibliophiles might enjoy a site called the Book Inscription Project that features other inscriptions. Oh, and a tip o' the hat to Susan Hated Literature for that book-inscription link.)


God Is My Codependent said...

For the record, on Christmas 1934 William Frawley was 47 and Vivian Vance was 25.

Jim Donahue said...

Good God--I had no idea there was that big an age difference.

God Is My Codependent said...

P.S. I'm interested in old humor, and I have a few old books of it (though none with such a charming inscription). Can you post the table of contents?

And did you know that in the 40s, the BBC banned Wodehouse's lyrics, on the grounds that he was a Nazi collaborator?

Jim Donahue said...

I'll e-mail them to you.

And no, I didn't know that. Ack. How seriously was he involved?

God Is My Codependent said...

According to George Orwell's In Defence of P.G. Wodehouse, he wasn't involved at all, he was just too dim to get what was going on.

fermicat said...

Is the book funny?

Jim Donahue said...

Fermi: Not so much.

TootsNYC said...

and it's inscribed "To Jim"!

punkinsmom said...

Not to deflate the whoopi cushion here, but you do realize that Fred and Ethel are fictional characters, right?