Jan's Adventure with the Hot Water Bottle

Twaice een wan Wik

Buller Day in Exeter

Gen’ral Bul-ler’s return from the War

Shout Quiet Like

How Jan got his “Baccy”

Muddlecoombe Club Walk

‘Ow Faith Selley chayted the Passon

Varmerin be Machinery

Jan Cann’s Cheer

Jan’s Cricket Match


Edward I.--Longshanks

Edward III.

Curing the Lumbago

Demshur and Irish

The Way to Tell a Tale

‘Ow us med out the Census

The Zhure Wather Prophet

The Story of Missis Coombes

Me and Uncle Tom at Barnsstaple Show

'Arry 'Awks's Prize Tetties

Weel Brewer and the Boots

Our Parish Meeting

Jan at the Hunt Dinner

How Jan Hanged the Paper on the Wall

Jan’s Telegram

How Jan played the Fiddle

How they sang “God Save the King”





*Jan’s Adventure with the Hot Water Bottle

*Jan's Cricket Match

*How us made out the Census

*The Story of Missis Coombes

*Harry Hawk’s Prize Potatoes

*Will Brewer and the Boots

*Our Parish Council Meeting

*Jan at the Hunt Dinner

*How Jan Hanged the Paper on the Wall

*Sending a [2nd ed. "Jan's"] Telegram

*When [2nd ed. "How"] Jan Stewer Played the Fiddle

*A Cure for [2nd ed. "Curing"] Lumbago

*Our [2nd. "Muddlecoombe"] Club Walk

Higher Education

The Haughty Maid

*How [2nd. "The Way"] to Tell a Tale

The Song of the Settle

Dan’l Widdon and the Opera

The titles in the third edition which are the same as, or close to, the titles in the second edition, are marked with an asterisk.

Note that the letter "H" is not always omitted in the titles of the third: e.g. "'Arry 'Awks Prize Tetties" becomes "Harry Hawk’s Prize Potatoes". The cover calls the book :"Jan Stewer's Devonshire Book", although the heading on each inside page is "Jan Stewer's Demshure Buke". This reflects a tendency to play down the dialect somewhat to make it more readily comprehensible and therefore appeal to a broader adience. To my mind this makes it both less attractive and less informative.

The one biographer, Douglas J Cock, says "Coles was greatly to develop his style of dialect-writing over the years so as to make it more easily readable...". From my point view, "alas".

The stories in the third edition are also somewhat redacted. The more political stories, more circumstantial, e.g. those about General Buller, are omitted. It is not clear whether the stories in the Third Edition: Containing new And Revised Stories were taken from other editions of the Devon and Exeter Gazette--before July 1905--or were written especially for the edition by A. J. Coles, and whether they were revised by him or some editor. As my copy of the Third Edition is autographed by "Jan Stewer" in 1920 suggests that he was both associated with it, and happy to be, even though it is a different publisher.

Cock speaks of the series In a Devonshire Carrier's Van which were, he says, "in a sense, embryos of the more polished versions published by Herbert Jenkins." He says further: "One regrets the lack of publication dates in these books, but they were certainly pre-1914"[p. 32]. On page 100 Cock suggests "between 1900 and 1910 .. three series"(of the Carrier's Van).

Of course, 1900 is too early! For, "[o]n July 29, 1905, Jan Stewer made his first appearance in the "Western Weekly News" with a dialect sketch entitled 'The Man Who Never Told a Lie.' From that date has contributed every week some phase of his "ol' logic." [Western Morning News - Friday 25 July 1930]. AND WE DO have two dates--though not on the books themselves. They were published November 1906 [first series] and February 1907 [second series], [Western Morning News - Wednesday 28 November 1906, page 1, and Western Morning News - Monday 25 February 1907 page 1]. I do not have a date for the third series.