"by Mable Holmes and Vera Aitchinson, Doguessers of America... All jests reserved."
A literary satire in rhyming verse, lovingly conceived in 1928 by two rising Iowa high school senior students for their teacher, "Clarice Hagen - Scholar, Teacher, Friend" who appears to have epitomized the beloved English teacher archetype. We know that at least one of the authors would pursue a teaching certificate shortly thereafter and teach briefly in a community school.
"This book is the outcome of personal experience with the problem of being taught literature. Foolishness has been the first thing sought, and is this quality which all have or soon develop that has determined the chief feature of this excruciating book..."
Stiff wraps on an ad-hoc oblong binding with pages secured by tape in the gutters, 7 x 9 inches. 30 manuscript leaves with charming pen and ink illustrations including one full page drawing in various colors and comical vignettes at the chapter headings, including an anthropomorphic palm tree. A play on A Midsummer Night's Dream that adapts the traditional Canto form and is even designed with homage to the fine press works en vogue in the period. Passages of the verse humorously emulate different styles of writing.
“No pains have been spared to equip the book with illustrations that are as bad as can be expected…”
I would argue the illustrations are actually better than expected, particularly full page drawing of two lounging ladies and the "Merry Little Grig" -like elven figures drawn on the cover that reappear throughout the text. The technical term to describe the work is "exceedingly charming".