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October 1962

Artemus Ward—His Book

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(4):552-553. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620220144032

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Recently I came across a small windfall, two Artemus Ward books published in the 1860's. Artemus Ward was the pseudonym of Charles Farrar Browne, but I think no one would identify him by anything other than his assumed name. According to contemporary reports a major part of the fun Artemus Ward created and exploited was emphasized by his absolutely deadpan expression as he gave his hilarious lectures. Literally they had the audience rolling in the aisles. He had the virtues and limitations of dialect. My first reaction upon reading his words consecutively in a book, rather than in occasional bits as I had done, was to notice how very closely he resembled Will Rogers. Whether this is coincidence or design I do not know. Will Rogers' daily squibbs in the newspapers, gently lampooning society and the world, were a seemingly kind but sometimes sharper needling, probably more effective than the

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