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Optic, Oliver [pseud. of William Taylor Adams]. The little merchant. A story for little folks. Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1865. 16mo (14.7 cm, 5.78"). Add. engr. t.-p. (incl. in pagination), 96 pp.; 4 plts. $65.00
Little David, determined to help his impoverished mother, starts out by catching and selling pickerel before moving on to selling newspapers. That tale is followed by a briefer story of another successful paper-seller, "The Newsboy." This is an early printing of the first entry in the "Riverdale Story Books" series, originally published in 1862; the series was written by an educator and prolific children's author who served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The text is => illustrated with an engraved title-page signed by John Andrew and four plates, as well as a few small animal tail-pieces.
Provenance: From the children's book collection of Albert A. Howard, his inscription on front fly-leaf (this unusual) and small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Sternick, Bibliography of 19th-Century Children's Series Books, 906. Publisher's red cloth, covers with blind-stamped frame and central vignette, spine decoratively gilt-stamped incorporating series title; binding slightly cocked and rubbed with spine gilt dimmed in bottom half and boards with areas of discoloration. Text with faint traces of waterstaining to lower outer corners and scattered light spotting, pages overall clean. (41667) Please RESHELVE This.
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