Burgess, Gelett

▪ American humorist
in full  Frank Gelett Burgess  
born Jan. 30, 1866, Boston, Mass., U.S.
died Sept. 17, 1951, Carmel, Calif.

      American humorist and illustrator, best known for a single, early, whimsical quatrain:

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

      Burgess was educated as an engineer and worked briefly for a railroad in that capacity. Between 1891 and 1894 he taught topographical drawing at the University of California. In 1895 Burgess became the founding editor of Lark, a humour magazine, and in 1897 he began to publish books of his self-illustrated whimsical writings.

      Burgess' humour was based upon the sudden break of ideas: a substitution of the unexpected for the commonplace. Among his best-known works are Goops and How to Be Them (1900) and subsequent books on Goops (bad-mannered children). He is credited with adding several words to the English language, including blurb. Among his many other works are Are You a Bromide? (1906), Why Men Hate Women (1927), and Look Eleven Years Younger (1937).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • caricature and cartoon — ▪ graphic arts Introduction       in graphic art, comically distorted drawing or likeness, done with the purpose of satirizing or ridiculing its subject. Cartoons are used today primarily for conveying political commentary and editorial opinion… …   Universalium

  • Wells, Carolyn — ▪ American writer born June 18, 1862, Rahway, N.J., U.S. died March 26, 1942, New York, N.Y.       prolific American writer remembered largely for her popular mysteries, children s books, and humorous verse.       Wells supplemented her formal… …   Universalium

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