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copyright 1894; Grosset & Dunlap publishers, New York; hardbound with red, white and blue boards and silver lettering; illustrated by F. Opper; good condition; owner's name inside cover "1910"; see pics.


Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye (August 25, 1850 – February 22, 1896) was an American humorist. He was also the founder and editor of the Laramie Boomerang.


Nye was born in Shirley, Maine. He was educated at River Falls, Wisconsin, moved to Wyoming Territory, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He began early to contribute humorous sketches to the newspapers, using the pen name of "Bill Nye" after a character in a famous poem by Bret Harte popularly known as "The Heathen Chinee". He was connected with various western journals, and afterward settled in New York City.


The Boomerang was founded while Nye was the postmaster of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. It launched him to national fame, gaining subscribers in every state and some foreign countries.


His humor was uniquely American. In 1892, he wrote in The Century Magazine:

There is a grim and ghastly humor -- the humor that is born of a pathetic philosophy -- which now and then strikes me in reading the bright and keen-witted work of our American paragraphers. It is a humor that may be crystallized by hunger and sorrow and tears. It is not found elsewhere as it is in America. It is out of the question in England, because an Englishman cannot poke fun at himself. He cannot joke about an empty flour-barrel. We can: especially if by doing it we may swap the joke for another barrel of flour. We can never be a nation of snobs so long as we are willing to poke fun at ourselves.

Bill Nye's History of the United States

SKU: BS21b
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