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Oxford Jests, Refined and Enlarged

Oxford Jests, Refined and Enlarged by HICKS, Captain William (1760)

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Author: HICKS, Captain William
Title: Oxford Jests, Refined and Enlarged
Year: 1760
Publisher: C. Hitch and L. Hawes [etc]
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £900
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'Whitty Jests, Merry Tales, Pleasant Joques', all 583 of them, in this very uncommon eighteenth century jest book.

Bound in twentieth century sheepskin with most of the nineteenth century spine of the previous binding relaid; new endpapers. The book collates complete as per ESTC T202030 (pp 180); a little browning especially to the first few leaves but a very good copy of a book rarely encountered in trade - there are no copies in auction records of any edition of Oxford Jests.

ESTC locates 2 copies at the Bodleian (one incomplete) and OCLC finds a further 2 in the USA at Yale & Claremont: the American universities date the book to 1699 which makes sense of the designation 'eight edition' on the title page but the list of printers makes this impossible and a date around 1760 as suggested by ESTC seems more plausible.

Following on from the prefatory material the book is made up of 583 jokes and humorous anecdotes. Among the many stereotypical targets of the book's broad and predictable satire are Welshmen, women of all ages, Oxford scholars and the Mayor of Abingdon. Despite the popularity of these Oxford Jests they survive in low numbers. Hicks himself attracted some approbrium for hitching his jest book to the city of Oxford with the implication that it was in some way attached to the university, an association he plays on in the jests themselves.
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