"A BESTiary of British Humour" contains works (or excerpts of works) by the following authors:
Miles Kington, Monty Python, NoŽl Coward, Gerard Hoffnung, George Mikes, John Cleese, Samuel Butler, Not! The Nine O'Clock News, Peter Sellers, Rowan Atkinson, Gilbert & Sullivan, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, The BBC's "Just a Minute" Team, Flanders & Swann, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, P. G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Alan Bennett, Peter Ustinov and Julian Barnes; there are cartoons by Norman Thelwell, Tom Johnston, Pont and JAK.
Humour not only provides insights into human behaviour and puts problems into a manageable context, it also helps to provide common ground between otherwise disparate groups.
This collection includes short extracts from comedy shows on radio and television, monologues, situation comedy, sketches, poems, operetta, musicals, novels and Shakespeare's plays. Form and style vary from nonsense rhymes to satire, light-hearted amusement to scathing wit.
They have been organised into thematic groups covering topics in the Viewfinder series and can thus be read either independently or as part of any particular course.
The texts and cartoons all have one thing in common. They are examples of the tradition of British comedy and the legendary British sense of humour, an understanding of which is an essential part of the study of the nation's culture.