In this “manual” Harry Graham (writing as Col. D. Streamer) takes issue with conventional pearls of wisdom (i.e., “Virtue is its own reward”) in rhyming verse.
Given the title, contemporary readers may come here seeking a bit of titillation, but I’d offer the gentle reminder that “perverted” has not alway carried the sexual connotations that it now bears. The author is much more likely to encourage reveling in an extra scoop of ice cream than anything truly naughty.
However, even when the book was published, there were people confounded by the title.
And, perhaps, the contents.
COLONEL D. STREAMER, who not long ago published some “Ruthless Rhymes” which had considerable vogue, has now issued through the Harpers, with the imprint of R. H. Russell, “Perverted Proverbs,” a title which seems to mean something, but which does not exactly fit the book so far as we can make out. It may be there is a great deal of wit and humor and sarcasm lying deep in the few lines that are contained in the book, and we confess to seeing occasional glimpses that are refreshing, but it is not within our power to quite fathom the publication.Philadelphia Inquirer
May 25, 1903