Biography of Oliver Herford
Oliver Herford (1863–1935) was a British born American writer, artist and illustrator who has been called "The American Oscar Wilde".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
THE Pen-guin sits up-on the shore
And loves the lit-tle fish to bore;
He has one en-er-vat-ing joke
That would a very Saint provoke:
'The Pen-guin's might-i-er than the sword-fish';
He tells this dai-ly to the bored fish,
Un-til they are so weak, they float
With-out re-sis-tance down his throat.