Irish Diamonds; Or, a Theory of Irish Wit and Blunders (1847)
Book ID: 62062
Irish Diamonds; Or, a Theory of Irish Wit and Blunders. Combined with other Kindred Subjects. By John Smith, One of the Editors of “The Liverpool Mercury,” Late Lecturer on Education and Geographical Science, etc. With Illustrations by “Phiz.” London: Chapman & Hall, 1847. Pp 175, . With engraved frontispiece & title-page & four plates in the text. Publisher’s green cloth boards, decorated in blind, title in gilt to spine. Covers lightly faded, contents in very good condition.
Published at the height of the Famine this work caricatures the Irish peasantry ‘their wit and predilection to think with the heart instead of the head.’ The illustrations are the stereotypical Paddy and Mr. Punch, that could be found throughout the latter’s publication at this time. “As a study in the sayings and humour or a people only a generation removed from their native language, Smith’s observations on Irish humour, played-out against the backdrop of colonisation and the Famine show a large measure of pathos and humility by the author making Smith’s Irish Diamonds a fascinating and unexpected read.”
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