Poggio wrote an international best selling joke book in both manuscript and print in the 1400’s. This I knew because of Paolo Giovio’s entry on him in The Italian Portrait Gallery. Obviously, Poggio was my kind of guy. First I found the translation of some of the wise wisecracks by Edward Storer and put them online. Next, discovering there were more, I found another collection called the Facetia Erotica, by an anonymous translator, which were not publishable in the mainstream presses in the early part of the 20th century, so those went up next.
The Translators provided much interesting material on Poggio but it was incomplete. Happening upon a hard to come by biography of Poggio, there was no doubt that it was essential to add to the other texts. William Shepherd has done a very respectable job of fleshing out the history of the man and his times and all the famous men who were his friends, and his enemies.
Poggio collected the lost works of the ancient classical writers, translated them, collected antique sculpture, moved every 1-2 years while working for 8 popes in a row and had 18 kids. No wonder he wrote a book of jokes.
Enough chatter, on to the Preface by his biographer, the esteemed Reverend, William Shepherd, who also happened to be a friend of Thomas Roscoe.