Better is Not So Good

Better is Not So Good

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An illustrated tale by William Hone extracted from his Ancient Mysteries Described first published in 1823. Reprinted with an introduction by Graham Moss and Kathy Whalen

To Greet the New Year 2015

The books is 155 x 107 mm, [18] p. (unpaginated). It is handset in 12 point Monotype Scotch 137 and printed on Wookey Hole mould made paper. Five illustrations have been printed from line blocks. Sewn into card with patterned paper wrappers or plain green card.

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William Hone (1780-1842) is best remembered as a radical pamphleteer and his Ancient Mysteries Described, though in no way conventionally radical, is essentially a series of pamphlet texts conjoined into a book. It is built around antiquarian information of the religious street plays called Mysteries, but includes many asides on popular entertainments, including in Chapter Three Christmas Carolling. There he gives the full text of 'Joseph was an old man' which is also in the Coventry Mystery Play, and details of a 1729 'Christmas Carol on Peko-tea'. Hone then lists 89 'carols … spoken of as not belonging to this century' but still printed annually as broadsheets, before giving the anecdote included in this booklet.