Joke Essays

English

Holt tells us that joke books became routine after the first one was published in English in 1484. Jokes remained fairly lowbrow until the middle of the 19th century when with especially the clever retort became prized in English culture. A typical joke concerned a hefty fellow rushing to Florence late one evening. He asked a peasant “Do you think I’ll be able to make it through the city gate?” The man replied, “Why if a cart of hay can…

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