ESSAYS AMERICAN MISCELLANY OF POPULAR TALES, AND JEUX D'ESPRIT. BY TRANSATLANTIC AUTHORS, POETRY, SKETCHES OF CHARACTER, THE.

London: G. Berger, Holywell Street, Strand; Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.; and All Booksellers, 1840. Octavo, pp. [1-4] 1-316, woodcut illustration at beginning of each number, publisher's green cloth. Bind-up of the last 20 weekly parts (numbers 29-31; 33-49, apparently mis-numbered as there is no gap in the continuous pagination between numbers 31 and 33). The first number was published 21 September 1839 and the final number in 1840. The magazine was to be continued as a monthly, the first number of the third volume to be ready in September 1840, but no further numbers appear to have been published. According to Pattee (The Development of the American Short Story, p. 46) this "is the first American short-story magazine" and "is a notable document in the history of American short fiction." In addition to a good deal of Washington Irving, much minor fiction is included. "The Birth-Day Tree" concerns a tree that acts as a death portent by blossoming unnaturally -- or is it a trick produced by administering a special chemical agent? Is its scent poisonous? "The Wooden-Legged Ghost" is short but not rationalized or laughed off. "Phrenology and Animal Magnetism" presents more occult thrills. Lacks spine panel, front cover detached, internally sound and fine. (#137416).

Price: $225.00

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