Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 1. Humorous Paragraphs and Columns in Newspapers

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

IX. Minor Humorists

§ 1. Humorous Paragraphs and Columns in Newspapers

THE ECCENTRIC and racy touch of the Civil War humorists vanished early in the seventies, and humour underwent a period of organization, levelling, and standardization. Its cruder manifestations disappeared; editors no longer burst upon their readers with the discovery of unsuspected females —Ann Tiquity, Ann Gelic, and Ann O’Dyne—in Webster’s Unabridged; parodying became less inevitable; and “reverses” such as P. T. Barnum’s

  • Lewd did I live & evil I did dwel
  • lost their fascination for keen minds. The dialect of the immigrant replaced the twang of the crossroads. And at the same time the native flavour and homely philosophy of the older humour ceased to illuminate the work of the fun-makers.