Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of Nuts to Crack,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VIII: Literary Criticism - part 01 (1902), pp. 90-91


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[page 90:]

NUTS TO CRACK: OR QUIPS, QUIRKS, ANECDOTE AND FACETE OF OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS. BY THE AUTHOR OF FACETIÆ CANTABRIGIENSES, ETC., ETC., ETC. PHILADELPHIA: E. L. CAREY &. HART.

[Southern Literary Messenger, December, 1835.]

ALTHOUGH this little volume is obviously intended for no other eyes than those of the “Oxford and Cambridge scholar,” and although it is absolutely impossible for any American to enter fully into the spirit of its most inestimable quizzes, oddities and eccentricities, still we have no intention of quarrelling with Carey & Hart, for republishing the work on this side of the Atlantic. Never was there a better thing for whiling away a few loose or unappropriated half hours — that is to say in the hands of a reader who is, even in a moderate degree, imbued with a love of classical whimsicalities. We can assure our friends — all of them who expect to find in these excellent “Nuts to Crack,” a mere rifacimento of stale jests — that there are not more than two or three anecdotes in the book positively entitled to the appellation of antique. Some things, however, have surprised us. In the first place what is the meaning of Anecdote and Facete? In the second what are we to think of such blunders, as “one of honest Vere’s classical jeu d’esprit,” (the jeu d’esprit printed too in Long Primer Capitals) in a volume professing to be Anecdote and Facete (oh! — too bad) of Oxford and Cambridge scholars? And thirdly is it possible that he who wrote the Facetie Cantabrigienses is not aware that the “cutting retort attributed to [page 91:] the celebrated Lord Chesterfield, when a student of Trinity Hall, Cambridge,” may be found among the Facetiae of Hierocles — not to mention innumerable editions of Joe Miller?

We have already said enough of the Nuts to Crack, but cannot, for our lives, refrain from selecting one of its good things for the benefit of our own especial readers.

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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of Nuts to Crack)