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Cupid's Cyclopedia

Oliver Herford

Book Overview: 

Herford’s books were usually short and quite popular in their time. He is a master of the witty remark and joke, i.e., “Many are called but few get up” and “Only the young die good”. Cupid’s Cyclopedia is a jesting alphabetical list of words and their definitions dealing with the course of true love; the book closes with an essay on the same subject entitled “Amoria,” a tongue-in-cheek imaginative travelogue on “the most ancient and honorable country upon the earth’s surface.” The text has many illustrations that make the author’s thoughts more entertaining and often clearer. There is an appendix, but the text indicates that it has been removed.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .pid’s bonds of the united state.

Bravery. A quality looked for in man, found in woman. The personal adornment of a woman and the mental adornment of a man.

Breach, Breach of promise suit. A suit made to fit the devil, but sometimes worn by Cupid.

Break, to break hearts. Popular pastime of the American girl.

Brute, n. A husband.


C is the curliest of all the letters. It takes its shape from the first golden curl, given as a Love Token by Cupid to Psyche, when he found her again, after their first quarrel, thus originating the Society of Psychical Research and the Engagement Ring.

C, being the initial of Cupid, has many of his charming graces, being Careless, Coquettish, Capricious, Clandestine, Clinging, and Curious.

These charms will also be found in the maids who follow the curly initial C.

Among the C girls are the following: Chloe, Clorinda. . . Read More