Oliver Herford

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File:Edison and Eve - An Alphabet of Celebrities, by Oliver Herford.jpg
Edison and Eve, from An Alphabet of Celebrities by Oliver Herford

Oliver Herford (1863–1935) was an American writer, artist and illustrator who has been called "The American Oscar Wilde".[citation needed] As a frequent contributor to The Mentor, Life, and Ladies' Home Journal, he sometimes signed his artwork as "O Herford". In 1906 he wrote and illustrated the Little Book of Bores. He also wrote short poems like "The Chimpanzee" and "The Hen", as well as writing and illustrating "The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten" (1904) and "Excuse It Please" (1930). His sister Beatrice Herford was also a humorist.

Ethel Mumford and Addison Mizner wrote a small book The Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1903 as a Christmas present and added Herford's name as an author as a joke. The printer made up more copies to sell and to everyone's surprise it was an astounding success. When Herford found out about it he wanted 90% of the royalties. He was awarded an equal third.[1][2]


  • "A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's: she changes it more often."[citation needed]
  • "If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one; go ahead, get married."[citation needed]
  • "Many are called but few get up."[citation needed]
  • "Only the young die good."[citation needed]
  • "Tact: to lie about others as you would have them lie about you."[citation needed]
  • "What is my loftiest ambition? I've always wanted to throw an egg into an electric fan."[citation needed]
  • "The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven't seen the joke yet."[3]
  • "A man is known by the silence he keeps."[4]


  • The Simple Jography, or How to Know the Earth and Why it Spins (1908) [5]

With pictures by the author, published by Charles Scribner's Sons:[6]

  • The Bashful Earthquake
  • A Child's Primer of Natural History; a revision and extension of this title by Margaret Fishback and Hilary Knight appeared as A Child's Book of Natural History (USA: Platt & Monk, 1969)
  • Overheard in a Garden
  • More Animals
  • The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten
  • The Fairy Godmother-in-law
  • A Little Book of Bores
  • The Peter Pan Alphabet[7]
  • The Astonishing Tale of a Pen-And-Ink Puppet
  • A Kitten's Garden of Verses

With John Cecil Clay:

  • Cupid's Cyclopedia
  • Cupid's Fair-Weather Booke

With Addison Mizner and Ethel Mumford

  • The Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1903
  • The Limerick Up to Date Book (1903)
  • The Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1904 (1903)
  • The Entirely New Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1905 (1904)
  • The Complete Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1906 (1905)
  • The Altogether New Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1907 (1906)
  • The Quite New Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1908 (1907)
  • The Perfectly Good Cynic's Calendar (1908)
  • The Complete Cynic (1910)
  • The Revived Cynic's Calendar (1917)


  1. Mizner, Addison. The Many Mizners. Chicago: Sears, 1932. p. 186.
  2. The New York Times. January 10, 1903
  3. http://www.sampleireland.com/famous-irish-sayings.html
  4. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/silence.html
  5. https://archive.org/details/simplejography00herfrich
  6. Listed at the end of https://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23433, 1911 copyright / PD in US
  7. The Peter Pan Alphabet at Neverpedia

External links