Saturday, April 6, 2013

HISTORICAL HUMOR


by Kathy Otten

While writing my new Civil War novel, I came across a need to research jokes of the period.  I was lucky enough to stumble onto a copy of Beeton's Book of Jokes and Jests, 1880. Though it was published in England, there are many jokes with reference to the Civil War. However odd these jokes seem by today’s standard, here are a couple of jokes from that book. I hope they brighten your day.
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The daughter of the Mayor of Beaune having lost her canary bird, her father instantly gave orders for the closing of the gates of the town.

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A young lover exclaimed, "Oh Julia! The first time you speak to me so as to make me despair, I will kill myself at your feet!"  "And what will you do the second time?" asked the young lady.
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A celebrated American judge had a very stingy wife. On one occasion she received his friends in the drawing-room with a single candle. "Be pleased, my dear," said his lordship, "to let us have a second candle that we may see where the other stands."
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Someone has said, that the greatest corn growers in the civilized world are—tight boots.
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One of the Federal regiments was fiercely attacked by a whole brigade in one of the battles in Mississippi; and, unable to withstand such odds, fell back about thirty or forty yards, losing their flag to the enemy. Suddenly, a tall Irishman dashed from the ranks across the vacant ground, attacked the squad of Confederates who had possession of the captured flag, felled several with his musket, snatched the flag from them, and returned safely to his regiment. The soldier was immediately surrounded by his comrades who greatly praised him for his gallantry, and his captain appointed him to a sergeantcy on the spot.  The hero, however, cut them short by saying, "Say no more about it. I just fetched my whisky flask which I dropped among the rebels, and I thought I might as well bring the flag back with it."

Kathy Otten

http://www.kathyottenauthor.com 
https://www.amazon.com/author/kathyotten

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11 comments:

  1. Hi All,
    As usual on the weekends, I work a fourteen hour shift and won't be available to answer any comment until midnight. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're able to enjoy a little chuckle. :)

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  2. Fun post, Kathy. You brought a smile to start my day.

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  3. Kathy--I would call those corny jokes, pretty much like those we hear today! My husband loves jokes--in all the decades we've been married, I believe he may have told me thousands. His goal is to make me truly laugh. I don't laugh at all of them, but say...well, that was silly....or something. But he doesn't mind...he'll try the next day. This is a highly educated man...and he loves stupid jokes. Part of why I love him, I guess.

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  4. There sense of humor is a bit different than today. Celia, my husband can't understand why I don't think laugh at some of his jokes. To me they're just not funny!
    These were cute though. Enjoyed them.

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  5. Very interesting, Kathy, to find this. It seems to have been published by the husband of the famous cook, Mrs. Beeton, to whom we owe the present day format of recipes with ingredients first. He was a well known publisher of his time. Thanks for posting.

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  6. Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for stopping. Glad it made you smile.:) We can never have enough laughter.

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  7. Hi Celia,
    The hero of my WIP is also a well educated man, but lacking in social skills. His plan was to find a way to make her laugh.

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  8. Hi Linda,
    Yes, the sense of humor was very different back then and there were many jokes and illustrations in the book that are totally inappropriate for today.

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  9. Andrea,
    I had no idea there was any relation to a famous cook. I only know there are many different Beeton's Books. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Kathy, Good ones and what a find in that book!

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  11. This is fun, Kathy. It sounds to me like some of them could be true today. A good sense of humor can go a long way on a wintry day. :)

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