The first mainstream history of humour. Hilarious and well-researched, this book from household name William Hartston, a presenter, author, and journalist, makes a perfect gift.
Of all human qualities, humour is perhaps the most puzzling. In this very first history of humour, author and humorist William Hartston looks at every aspect of the evolution of humour and our attitudes toward it with a view to developing a proper theory of everything humorous.
From comedy in ancient Greece and jokes in ancient Rome, to laughter in the Bible and the secret of comic delivery; from how humour changed following the American civil war, to how Mark Twain changed written comedy in the English-speaking world, William leaves no stone unturned in his quest to understand what makes us chuckle. Besides being academically well-founded, this book will, unlike almost everything else written on the subject, be both seriously humorous and humorously serious.