ID: 23134
John Harcourt's original jests.

HARCOURT, John, John Harcourt's original jests. London: Cowie and Strange. 1827.

12mo., woodcut frontispiece by George Cruikshank (lettered "Frontispiece to the Shilling Comic Annual"), (2) + 54pp., in contemporary or slightly later green half calf gilt over marbled boards, all edges gilt, with the original printed stiff grey wrappers preserved. A fine copy.

First edition, first issue.

The printed wrapper has a much expanded title: The Shilling Comic Annual. A collection of all the short, good things, which have, might, could, would, should, or ought to have been said by the wise & witty of all ages and countries, for the expansion of the understanding. [London, published by William Cruikshank]. The "jests" themselves are (of course) terribly dated and hardly amusing to the modern reader. Thus, e.g.: "You are a coward", said a low Londoner to a poor countryman who had refused to fight. "No, I bean't," said the countryman, "I have nothing to do with cows, I am a shepherd."