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    The First Humor Book Written in America

    [Nathaniel Ward]. Theodore de la Guard. The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America. London: John Dever and Robert Ibbitson, 1647.

    There were five editions of this book printed in 1647, and as this volume has a title page and last two leaves in facsimile, the specific edition is unknown. Small quarto (approximately 7 x 5 inches).[iv], 89, [1, blank] pages. Collation includes facsimile pages.

    Bound to style in modern half brown calf over marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt. Facsimile pages are done expertly and appear contemporary, some toning, soiling to original text leaves. Overall, good.

    "Most eccentric and amusing book that was produced in America during the colonial period... Will keep for him a perpetual place in early American literature... A tremendous partisan pamphlet, intensely vital even yet, full of fire, wit, whim, eloquence, sarcasm, invective, patriotism, bigotry" (Tyler). This satirical protest against religious intolerance was written by Ward, a clergyman in Massachusetts, and it is one of the earliest examples of seventeenth-century American prose.

    Church 483. DAB XIX, pp. 433-34. JCB II, 624. Sabin 101324. Tyler, American Literature I, pp. 229-41. Wing W787.

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