I have tried to keep a certain unity of aim and impression in selecting these stories. In the first place I determined that the pieces of brief fiction which I included must first of all be not merely good stories, but good short stories. I put myself in the position of one who was about to select the best short stories in the whole range of American literature, but who, just before he started to do this, was notified that he must refrain from selecting any of the best American short stories that did not contain the element of humor to a marked degree. But I have kept in mind the wide boundaries of the term humor, and also the fact that the humorous standard should be kept second--although a close second--to the short story standard. (Edited by Alexander Jessup.)
THE LITTLE FRENCHMAN AND HIS WATER LOTS (1839)
George Pope Morris
THE ANGEL OF THE ODD (1844)
Edgar Allan Poe
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S PROGRESS (1844)
Caroline M.S. Kirkland
THE WATKINSON EVENING (1846)
TITBOTTOM'S SPECTACLES (1854)
George William Curtis
MY DOUBLE; AND HOW HE UNDID ME (1859)
Edward Everett Hale
A VISIT TO THE ASYLUM FOR AGED AND DECAYED PUNSTERS (1861)
Oliver Wendell Holmes
THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY (1865)
ELDER BROWN'S BACKSLIDE (1885)
Harry Stillwell Edwards
THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE OF MR. PINK FLUKER (1886)
Richard Malcolm Johnston
THE NICE PEOPLE (1890)
Henry Cuyler Bunner
THE BULLER-PODINGTON COMPACT (1897)
Frank Richard Stockton
COLONEL STARBOTTLE FOR THE PLAINTIFF (1901)
THE DUPLICITY OF HARGRAVES (1902)
BARGAIN DAY AT TUTT HOUSE (1905) George Randolph Chester
A CALL (1906) Grace MacGowan Cooke
HOW THE WIDOW WON THE DEACON (1911) William James Lampton
GIDEON (1914) Wells Hastings
Possibly the worst short story collection I've ever read. As too often happens, the editor—Jessup, finds it necessary to spout off at length about his vast knowledge and the idealized reasons for choosing these particular tales, wasting space which might have held two more stories.
It contains a one or two humorous stories, some droll efforts, a couple of decent anecdotes, one of the worst things Poe ever wrote, a weak example of Bret Harte, Twain's Jumping Frog, and at least one tale that no rational person would ever call humor.
If I gave stars (which I no longer do) it would rate minus 1.
These stories were selected in 1915, of course they aren't the same type of humor as now. I rate them a 5 because they are very well written.
poe's angel of the odd is still funny as hell, but the others just couldn't tickle me in any way, so don't bother.
Very poor. Not funny at all. Even the Twain stories. Don't bother. I can't imagine what the original editor was thinking. Did past generations think these stories were funny? I can't believe that.
TOTALLY DUMB AND NOT ONE BIT INTERESTING OR USEFUL.DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS STUPID THING!
not very funny.