St Claire Bullock – a Professor of Philosophy, no less – in the intervals between pondering the great questions of life, turned his hand to penning light verse in the manner of Hilaire Belloc, Ogden Nash and Edward Lear.
In rhyming couplets these wry and witty poems ponder the foibles and vanities of mortals. Some of these are captured in pen and ink drawings which caricature the subject of the poems.
Each character is given an amusing name beginning with Master Cecil Abercorn, through Clarence Castle, Serena Huff, The Marchioness of Mal de Mer, Major Houghton Reid and Thomas Tinkham Tattersall to Roland Washburn White. There are 70 witty poems in all of which 10 are illustrated.
The illustration on the front cover relates to Rupert Ashe, described below:
The greatest pride of Rupert Ashe
Was his luxuriant moustache.
He took great care to keep it groomed,
And even, with restraint, perfumed.
He brushed it upward every day,
And it made such a grand display
That people who were not the wiser
Imagined that he was the Kaiser.
St Claire Bullock is the pseudonym for a Professor of Philosophy and Congregationalist minister from the southern states of America. The book is published posthumously.
An unfinished draft accompanying (the verses) suggests that he planned to add more poems before consigning them to the press, but was never able to find anything suitable to rhyme with “peplum”.
From the Preface