Variations on a Theme: One of Them
Should Be THE First, But Which?
I[vers]. The factory girl, or gardez la cœur. Lowell: J.E.
Short & Co.,
1847. 16mo (16.7 cm, 6.5").
Frontis., 167, [1 (blank)] pp.; 3 plts.
Four copies of the same urban-versus-rural morality tale (beautiful
Calliste leaves a New England farm for a factory job in the city in order to
pay for her brother's schooling, and preserves her virtue and piety despite
temptation), all printed in the first year of the novel's appearance. Though
they have identical publication information on their title-pages, the
four volumes vary significantly.
Copy 1: Printed by Abner Forbes, bound in blind-stamped cloth with gilt-stamped
central foliate cross devices, spine gilt-stamped with urns and foliage. Dedication
printed in plain type, copyright information contained within straight lines.
Frontispiece (roses with butterfly) printed in green and hand-colored; plates
printed in green.
Copy 2: Printed by Abner Forbes, bound in blind- and gilt-stamped cloth
as above, spine gilt-stamped with urns and foliage in a very similar pattern
to the above, with differences upon close examination. Dedication in plain
type, copyright information contained within straight lines. Frontispiece
(design as above) and plates printed in blue.
Copy 3: Printed by Pillsbury and Knapp, bound in blind- and gilt-stamped
cloth as above, spine with very similar but not identical pattern. Dedication
in several different decorative fonts, copyright information in wavy lines.
Frontispiece (design as above) printed in gold, plates uncolored.
Copy 4: Printed by Pillsbury and Knapp, bound in ribbed cloth with an entirely
different gilt-stamped foliate device on each cover, spine with gilt-stamped
foliate/arabesque designs. All page edges gilt. Decorative pastedowns and
free endpapers. Dedication in decorative fonts, roughly similar to but not
the same as above, copyright information in wavy lines. Frontispiece engraving
of a house, signed by Strong; plates printed in black and hand-colored.
more POST-1820 AMERICANA, click
Cummings's novel is obtainable, but this grouping
offers a rare research opportunity for scholars of 19th-century printing,
binding, AND/or illustration, or of novels of that era.
Wright, I, 778. Publisher's cloth, as above;
generally lightly worn over extremities, two volumes slightly cocked. One
front free endpaper with decorative ownership stamp, one with pencilled ownership
inscription, one with early inked ownership inscription marking purchase in
Manchester. Scattered instances of foxing, offsetting; copy 3 with light waterstaining
to some leaves. A potential treasure trove of study and information.
more ILLUSTRATED BOOKS, click here.
more of WOMEN's interest, click here.
more ATTRACTIVE & FINE BINDINGS, click
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CLOTH BINDINGS, among others, click
a collection of (true)
little gathering also appears in the GENERAL
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