A Dying Art
This collection of memorial inscriptions includes more than 300 examples, which range from the poignant to the light-hearted. Commemorating both famous figures and those known only for an unusual gravestone, they include epitaphs on Dick Whittington, the Duke of Wellington’s horse and a man killed ‘by means of a Rockett’ on Guy Fawkes night in 1696.
Ostensibly a guide to getting a good night’s sleep, this humorous compendium contains practical advice – a handy list of essential items (such as a teasmade and biscuits), explanations for common nightmares (that creaking noise was just your bones) – with wider observations pertinent to the older generation. For added peace of mind it also offers some insights into the modern world and reminders that ageing has its benefits.
A Poke in the Eye
(With a Sharp Stick)
The original Secret Policeman’s Ball in 1976 revolutionized thinking about charity fundraising. Published to celebrate Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary, this illustrated collection includes scripts of the funniest moments from the 12 major shows, which have featured comedians including Python members, Peter Cook and Rowan Atkinson as well as stars such as Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and Victoria Wood.
I Wish I Hadn't Said That
Many of the funniest jokes are unintentional – slips of the tongue or typographic errors. This book delves into the worlds of sports commentary, classified advertising, church bulletins and, of course, Prince Philip to present more than 3,000 faux pas, from the 1631 Bible that proclaimed ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’ to a US newspaper informing its readers that ‘Homicide victims rarely talk to the police.’
Must I Repeat Myself...?
Unpublished Letters to The Daily Telegraph
In this tenth annual edition of Telegraph readers’ letters, Alexa and gender-neutral lavatories join the perennial concerns with good English, cricket and the march of time. Hollingshead, as the departing editor, pays tribute to the letter-writers’ ‘wit, erudition and occasional downright lunacy’ and adds a best of the last decade chapter, including the priceless ‘Sir, It has all been a terrible mistake. We thought we were voting to leave Eurovision’. Slightly off-mint.
and Other Oxymorons
From ‘alcohol-free wine’ in the Home Comforts chapter to ‘serially monogamous’ in Uncomplicated Relationships, Simon Brett presents a collection of oxymorons – ‘the undiscovered beauties of the English Language’ – that includes the obvious (‘safe bet’), those that need a bit of explanation (victimless crime), and some tongue-in-cheek (Young Conservative).
How to Keep a Werewolf
And Other Exotic Pets Which May or May Not a) Exist or b) Eat You
Investigating the world of cryptids from the point of view of a prospective pet-owner, this humorous illustrated guidebook outlines the characteristics of a variety of mythological, legendary and fictional beasts from lake monsters and yetis to chupacabras and unicorns.
Did Anyone Else See That Coming...?
Unpublished Letters to the Daily Telegraph
‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends’... The redoubtable readers and letter-writers of the Daily Telegraph confront the era of Trump, Twitter and Brexit in this ninth compilation of wit, opinion and getting the facts right: from Forston in Dorset, a reader asks, ‘How can I distinguish fake reports about fake news from real reports about fake news?' Slightly off-mint.
Animal Tales from the Telegraph's Resident Vet
From the case of the killer worms to budgies with itchy beaks, Pete Wedderburn documents some of the most memorable mysteries from his many years in veterinary practice and as vet-in-residence answering readers’ questions at the Telegraph. Among his patients are a ginger cat with a bad cough, a Newfoundland who wouldn’t budge, and a parrot who refused to talk; and after each case of veterinary detection, there are owners’ questions and answers about similar problems.
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off...
Unpublished Letters to the Daily Telegraph
‘Sir, It has all been a terrible mistake. We thought we were voting to leave Eurovision.’ In a year dominated by the EU Referendum, the Telegraph’s letter-writers were in full spate – and not just on the momentous vote. Here, in sections such a ‘The Use and Abuse of Language’, ‘Box Gogglers’ and ‘Royal Blushes’ are readers’ opinions – frankly stated – on everything from family life to ‘Benito Trump’.
Foster's English Oddities
Beginning with Jack Ferry, who crossed the English Channel on a floating tricycle in 1883, and ending on a happy note with the remarkable Ann Green, who survived being hanged in Oxford in 1860 and even survived helpful bystanders’ attempts to finish her off, Foster’s collection of ‘oddities’ includes weird and wonderful people doing strange things, bizarre natural events (hedgehog living through a 40-degree washing machine cycle etc) and some spooky coincidences.
The Customer's Always Wrong
Stupid Things Shoppers Say
Will cinemas pause films while you pop to the toilet? Can you get a refund after cutting the legs off new jeans? Is pouring butter into your computer a good idea? This book contains some of the most bizarre queries and complaints that staff have faced from the kind of customer who spends two frustrating days 'rewinding' a DVD or is upset when an omelette smells of eggs.
I Don't Believe It!
Original Complaints of Tunbridge Wells
The British used to be better at complaining, as this sequel to the bestselling Outraged of Tunbridge Wells demonstrates. Before the internet debased the subtle art of invective, newspaper readers would take up their pens to inform editors of their disgust and outrage, perfectly balancing insouciance with sarcasm. The letters collected here appeared in Kent newspapers between Georgian times and the Second World War, and range from the pedantic and humorous to the poignant and political.