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Three Courses And A DessertThree Courses and a Dessert: Three Sets of Tales, West Country, Irish, and Legal; and a Melange. With Fifty Illustrations. Author: Anonymous. Illustrator: George Cruikshank. Published in London:1867.

First Course: West Country Chronicles. And it is just that, chronicles of people living old west England. It rambles like listening to a relative two or three generations above you. Full, vivid descriptions of life at that time.

Second Course: The Neighbors of an Olde Irish Boy. Even more rambling than the first course, but in a good, funny sort of way. More than a peek into mid-1800s life in Ireland.

Third Course: My Cousin’s Clients. A lot of legalize, stirred in with some personalities of the people involved in it. Haven’t read real far in this section yet.

Dessert: Various short stories which, according to the author, provide a delicacy after the previous three courses. The Introduction says, “At a table of three courses, the guests have a right to expect some sort of a dessert; it is the necessary consequence of a certain order of dinners…”

The first story in Dessert starts thus: “In the month of January, 1804, Joey Duddle, a well-known postilion on the North Road, caught a cold, through sleeping without his night-cap; deafness was, eventually, the consequence.”

See? Little peeks at life in the 1800s. How could you not want to finish reading that explanation of going deaf.

Great book if you enjoy illustrations from the mid-1800s (50 of them). Good portrayal of life in Ireland and England. Not so good if you like a logical sequence with a plot in your books.