New York: Mason Brothers, 1857. Coffin, Fred[erick] M. Hardcover. Sixteenmo, 292 pp. Very Good. Item #SB0826
Early reprint of a children's book by Fannie Fern, the pen name of Sara Willis (1811-1872) who struggled as a young widow to provide for her children by writing, eventually becoming the highest-paid columnist in the United States, being paid $100 per week for her column in the New York Ledger. In addition to being a columnist, Ms. Willis wrote several books, including others for children entitled "Fern Leaves from Fanny's Portfolio" and "Little Ferns for Fannie's Little Friends" which were wildly popular; this book must have been published directly afterwards, for in the author's Preface she writes: "Since 'Little Ferns' was published, I have had many letters, and messages, from little children all over the country, asking me 'to write them soon another little book of stories.' Here is one that I have prepared for you and them - because I made it to read when you are out of school, and want to be amused."
Illustrated by Frederick M. Coffin (b. 1822), who in addition to Fanny Fern's children's books also illustrated "Twelve Years a Slave", which was being published at roughly the same time as the first edition of this title.
___DESCRIPTION: Brown cloth binding with a blind-embossed double-ruled border enclosing a pattern of ivy leaves arranged diagonally, a decorative circle in the middle of the board which holds the author's name in gilt, gilt lettering and the same ivy pattern also in gilt on the spine, light yellow endpapers, a vintage prior owner gift inscription on the front free endpaper, "[name]'s / Book / Presented by his father / Nov. 13th, 1866", illustrations scattered throughout the text (we counted 10, there is no list against which to check, but we found no evidence of any having been removed). We do not believe this is a first edition, there is some online evidence of a London edition having been published as early as 1854. 16 mo size, pagination: (i-vi), (7)-286.
___CONDITION: Overall in very good condition, with a strong, square text block, solid hinges, corners with a minimum of rubbing, the interior is clean and bright, and other than the vintage inscription referred to above it is free of prior owner markings. There is some wear to the head and tail of the spine, with some loss at the head, the corners are gently bumped, some rubbing to the embossed boards, scattered light internal foxing, and an old dampstain at the back, most noticeable on the rear free endpaper and rear flyleaves, showing faintly on the last few pages of the story but not at all obscuring the text.
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