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The Best After Dinner Stories

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  16 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews

Ever since Chaucer's day, when the host of the Tabard Inn in Southwark rose to welcome the Canterbury Pilgrims with a joke, the After Dinner Speech, designed, if possible, to reduce the assembled company to helpless merriment, has presented the ultimate challenge. The best speakers are natural story-tellers—Gerard Hoffnung, reading a selection of letters from conti
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published 2003 by The Folio Society
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A twentieth century British anthology with contributions culled from Geo. Chaucer, Will. Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Jose Manser, Charles Dickens, AP Herbert, Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill, HM The Queen, Joanna Trollope, Jilly Cooper, Miles Kington and many others.

Contents include, but are not limited to the splendid Crispin Day Speech given to Henry V by Wm. Shakespeare, to a birthday of King William IVth; from Charles Townshend delivering his ‘Champagne Speech’ in the House of Commons o
Aug 10, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
THE BEST AFTER-DINNER STORIES. (2003). Tim Heaald (ed.) ****.
What a delightful book. This was a special production of the Folio Society, and, under the editorial skills of Tim Heald, gathered examples of after-dinner speeches from Chaucer up to the present day. What immediately strikes the reader is the wide difference between English humor and American humor. Much of English humor seems to be tied into class differences and cricket. Americans tend to laugh at clever word play and slapstick. Thi
Stuart Aken
Jan 01, 2012 Stuart Aken rated it liked it
A book better presented than compiled, Tim Heald’s The Best After-Dinner Stories is a special edition available through the Folio Society (£19.95). As is often the case with such books, the text is illustrated, in this case by Paul Cox, who does an admirable if somewhat cosy job of work with the material offered.

There’s an underlying tone to the collection and the introductory passages which will undoubtedly appeal to those of a clubbish or socially elevated nature. I found it complacent, self-s
Mark Farley
Sep 20, 2014 Mark Farley rated it liked it
I agree mostly with the last review of this but it is beautifully presented, albeit being rather smug and uppity for the most part and I did start skipping the later passages. I did really enjoy parts of it though and a lot of it is rather amusing. Probably not aimed at the likes of me but did find pleasure from it.
Steven Freeman
Aug 31, 2016 Steven Freeman rated it liked it
Some very outstanding and entertaining stories that I would have very much liked to have heard in person along with a few that I don't know if I could have sat through.
Frank Ashe
Witty introductions to the stories, sometimes overly witty. I can't help but think that if these are the best after-dinner stories then I am glad I don't go to many places where these are delivered.
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Tim Heald (b. 1944) is a journalist and author of mysteries. Born in Dorchester, England, he studied modern history at Oxford before becoming a reporter and columnist for the Sunday Times. He began writing novels in the early 1970s, starting with Unbecoming Habits (1973), which introduced Simon Bognor, a defiantly lazy investigator for the British Board of Trade. Heald followed Bognor through nine ...more
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