THE GREAT ROSY DIAMOND. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, 1856. Octavo, pp.[1-6] 7-168 [note: first leaf is a blank], flyleaves at front and rear, four inserted plates with drawings by Hammatt Billings engraved on wood by John Andrew, original pictorial blue cloth, front panel stamped in gold and blind, spine panel stamped in gold, rear panel stamped in blind, pale yellow endpapers. First edition. A children's fantasy about shape-changing elves whose kingdom, Innerland, is in the hollow Earth. Wendeline, a young girl, accompanies Robin Goodfellow, an elf, on several trips into the inner world, including a journey to Centralia, the capitol of Innerland. The Great Rosy Diamond is part of a huge crystal-like gem which has been made into homes for the elves as well as a palace for their king. The nectar from underground flowers turns into a great variety of gems. "An interior world of floating islands. Life forms that combine mineral & vegetable. Little people that can change shape." - Locke and Teitler (2013) 227. Hammatt Billings (1818-1874) was a prolific American illustrator and architect who illustrated many books, including the first edition of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. This book was on the wants list of legendary lost race fiction collector Stuart Teitler for decades. Although a children's fantasy, it is a genuine hollow Earth story and it is imaginative, as well as a bit didactic (the main theme being don't be naughty or selfish). Allibone Supplement I, p. 296. Hamilton 421. Not in Costes and Altairac, Les Terres Creuses. Two early gift inscriptions on the front free endpaper, one dated 25 December 1859, the other dated December 1864. Cloth worn at spine ends, corners, and fore-edge of front cover, some rubbing and scuffing to cloth, scattered foxing throughout, a good copy. COPAC reports British Library copy only. OCLC adds one copy in America (Connecticut Historical Society). There is no copy at AAS. A great rarity, published nine years before another young girl followed a bunny down a rabbit hole into a fantastic underground world. (#156322).
No statement of printing.