'A fool and his words are soon parted' wrote William Shenstone in 1764; one might add that 'A wit and his words are rarely collected'. Here is the antidote: a dazzling survey of the funniest remarks, quips and observations from Ancient Rome, the Bible and Chaucer right up to The Simpsons and Little Britain. Over 5,000 of the very funniest remarks to have appeared on paper since, well, paper was invented. The quotations are arranged thematically and cover all aspects of life: from the world we inhabit to the things we eat, smoke and drink; from the way we move around to what and how we learn - oh, and the pointlessness of football. Within each theme, the quotations are chronologically placed so that the reader gets a real sense of the development of thought about each subject - as well as seeing how jokes evolve over the years and, in some cases, who 'borrowed' from whom. There is a short biography of all of the authors in the book, a brief contextual note for each quotation and an index of keywords to help you find you chosen witticism quickly. But do not be over-hasty when you use this book: it is a browser's delight, and should be enjoyed at leisure.