Oliver Herford

(1863-1935)

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

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When I grow up I mean to be
A Lion large and fierce to see.
I’ll mew so loud that Cook in fright
Will give me all the cream in sight.
And anyone who dares to say
“Poor Puss” to me will rue the day.
Then having swallowed him I’ll creep
Into the Guest Room Bed to sleep.

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