ABSTRACT

This article is a recovery project that focuses on little-known humorous English sporting articles initially published in the 1830s and early 1840s in popular British periodicals and books and then reprinted in William T. Porter's Spirit of the Times, a New York newspaper, during the first decade of its existence. Porter sought to appeal to “gentlemen of standing, wealth and intelligence” who were also sportsmen or sports enthusiasts. Walter Blair's brief mention of English comic sporting writing in his 1953 essay “Traditions in Southern Humor” was my impetus to further explore this subject. This article examines subject matter, character types, narrative strategies, and stylistics of representative English comic sporting articles and pairs them with similar texts of Old Southwest humor, the former perhaps helping to pave the way for the genesis of a new quintessential humor genre.

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