(#160973) "THE OLD SWIMMIN'-HOLE, AND 'LEVEN MORE POEMS, by Benj. F. Johnson, of Boone. [James Whitcomb Riley.]. James Whitcomb Riley.

"THE OLD SWIMMIN'-HOLE, AND 'LEVEN MORE POEMS, by Benj. F. Johnson, of Boone. [James Whitcomb Riley.]. Indianapolis, Ind. George C. Hitt & Co., 1883. Small octavo, title page printed in red, original cream vegetable parchment wrappers printed in red, sewn, all edges untrimmed. First edition, first printing. The author's first book, twelve Hoosier dialect poems first published in THE INDIANAPOLIS JOURNAL. 1000 copies were printed, the poet and the publisher sharing the expense. The supply was exhausted in three months, by which time the partners had cleared $83.20 each. "Riley has been called the 'People's Laureate,' and in a measure he deserves the title. He was a native of Greenfield, Indiana, the son of a lawyer, and himself dedicated to law by parental decree. After leaving school he ran away and became in turn a sign painter, patent medicine vendor and actor. Before long he began contributing to THE INDIANAPOLIS JOURNAL and his dialect poems quickly brought him national recognition. If one is to accept unqualifiedly the opinion of the critics, Riley is neither a great nor a good poet. He is accused of having prostituted real powers, abetted by a facile sense of rhythm, to the pleasing of the multitude. Possibly he did. But no contemporary equaled the popularity he attained through such poems as 'The Old Swimmin'-hole,' 'When the Frost is on the Punkin,' 'The Elf Child' ('Little Orphan Annie') and 'A Life-Lesson.' Despite the critics, he seems destined to retain his place as a favorite of the people." - Fullerton, Selective Bibliography of American Literature 1775-1900, 229-230. Merle Johnson, High Spots of American Literature, p. 64. BAL 16525. Russo, pp. 3-6. Early owner's name, "Mrs. A. de Leur," rubber-stamped at upper edge of title page. Light wear at spine ends, a very good copy. The parchment paper wrapper has a clean split along the front spine fold professionally mended and is otherwise intact. A very nice copy of a fragile book rarely found in decent condition. (#160973).

Price: $500.00

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