Focusing primarily on the 19th and 20th century, but with material dating back to Columbus, this volume is packed with an amazing range of comic material is--from the gentle, charming comedy of manners, to biting satire, to outrageous parody.
There are excerpts from the novels of Jane Austen, P.G. Wodehouse and Mark Twain, complete short stories by O. Henry and Frank O'Connor, classic tall tales from Australia, passages from Groucho Marx's correspondence with Warner Brothers, a selection of Samuel Johnson's comic definitions, plus a sprinkling of egregious puns and witty sayings. Muir has gathered work from over two hundred writers and from every English-speaking country. Virtually all of your favorites are here: Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Laurence Sterne, Anita Loos, Dorothy Parker, S.J. Perelman, Damon Runyon, Fran Lebowitz, Joseph Heller, Evelyn Waugh, Garrison Keilor, Erma Bombeck, Tom Wolfe, and countless others. In addition, there are comic pieces from writers you wouldn't expect to find--such as Thomas Hardy or Lawrence Durrell--and many writers you may not have discovered yet.