Pedigree: Surviving printings in best condition, were printed by William Copland, dated to 1528-1530 (although Mr. Ouvry in the reprint below, believed that date too early). Dates estimated because no surviving copy has a date.
Synopsis: “Howleglas” is the English translation of tales about the German jester Til Eulenspiegel. It reads somewhat chronologically, from Howleglas’ birth, through many episodes of his life, through his illness, death and funeral. A number of tales have him attempting to learn some trade or other, with varying degrees of disastrous results. Like Peggy Parish’s children’s book character Amelia Bedelia, Howleglas is apt to take instructions too literally (making a hole in a tradesman’s roof after being told “Go up and out of my house!!” in one tale). One of my favorites is “How Howleglas came to Banberch and did eat for money”, involving a misunderstanding (???) with a lady innkeeper who came to regret her choice of words.
WARNING: Some stories contain gross poop jokes. You have been warned.
Availability: A reprint of the (circa) 1528 Copland printing is part of P. M. Zall’s “A Hundred Merry Tales and other jestbooks of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries”, published in 1963 and available at libraries and book stores.
Google Books has a scholarly “hybrid” printing from 1867, edited by Frederic Ouvry , here: