We’re pleased to announce a new critical edition of F. Anstey’s comic novel Vice Versâ – a story so funny, it is famed for causing Trollope’s fatal stroke (to the modern reader, that could be either an endorsement or a terrible warning).
First published in 1882, Vice Versâ shows the disastrous consequences of having one’s wishes granted. After delivering a pompous lecture to his son Dick, stuffy Paul Bultitude declares his wish to be a schoolboy once more so he can enjoy the carefree existence of youth. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be clutching the mysterious and magical Garudâ stone, and suddenly finds himself transformed into the diminutive body of his son. Dick quickly uses the stone to his own advantage, assuming his father’s portly character and swapping roles. While Dick gets the opportunity to run his father’s business in the City and wreak havoc on the household, Paul must endure the privations of the brutal boarding school he forced young Dick to attend. Determined not to lose his dignity, Paul retains his former bombastic demeanour, leading to a series of hilarious episodes with the cane-wielding Dr Grimstone.
This new scholarly edition includes a comprehensive critical introduction by Peter Merchant, author biography, explanatory footnotes, and a wealth of contextual material. To find out more, please visit the Vice Versâ page.