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Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

May 16, 2010

Best Things from American Literature, Compiled by Irving Bacheller

Best Things from American Literature, complied by Irving Bacheller.

Here's a rare first edition from 1899, an anthology of works by more than five dozen American authors including Daniel Webster, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Willian Dean Howells, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Julia Ward Howe.

There are 63 listed illustrations -- portraits of the writers, including one of President Lincoln that appears opposite his Gettysburg Address, and several facsimiles of manuscripts in the authors' handwriting, among them a page from Ben Hur in which General Lew Wallace describes the famous chariot race.

Measuring about 8-7/8" x 6-7/8" x 1-1/2", this 416-page volume has been well read over the course of more than a century. The front cover is handsome and in good condition, with normal wear ar the edges. The spine is a bit loose, especially near the front few pages, and the back cover is marked by a 3" spot of what may be a clear glue or nail polish. With the exception of a couple of 1" tears, the pages are in good condition, quite clear and unmarked. A previous owner's name is written on the flyleaf.


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