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MAGA STORIES
New York: G. P. Putnam & Son, 1867.. Octavo, pp. [1-5] 6-325 [326-328: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank] + 4 inserted leaves with publisher's ads printed on pages [2-3] and [6-7], remainder blank, flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated green bevel-edged cloth, front panel stamped in gold and ruled in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, rear panel ruled in blind, fore-edges partially untrimmed, gray coated endpapers. First edition. Issued as part of "Putnam's Railway Classics" series. The stories (with one exception) are reprinted from PUTNAM'S MONTHLY, a critically acclaimed but short-lived magazine (1853-1857) that showcased American rather than British writers (who dominated the industry-leading HARPER'S MONTHLY), though the present volume gives no author attributions, keeping up the old tradition of anonymous authorship in periodicals. A mixed collection that includes fantasy stories: "Found and Lost," a dream story set in 1824 of the discovery of the source of the Nile (faint echoes of Poe, as well as Howard's classic "Three Miles Up"); "My Three Conversations with Miss Chester," an occult romance about magnetism and controlled dreaming; "Tolliwotte's Ghost," a rationalized humorous ghost story; "The Legend of Goodman Poverty," a humble man outsmarts Death; "The Double Veil," a macabre fantasy about cats, rationalized as a nightmare; "The Old Woman Who Dried Up and Blew Away," in which a bitter old woman gives herself to the Devil; "Uncle Bernard's Story," an allegorical "fairy" story; there may be others. Most of these tales are "round the fire" stories and are religious and moral in tone, but imaginative and pleasantly written overall. The collection was reprinted the following year as FOUND AND LOST, AND OTHER MAGA STORIES. This first printing is quite scarce. With such a high proportion of fantastic material, this book should be better known within the genre. Wright (II) 1650. Small paper defect to lower margin of leaf 3, several leaves roughly opened with shallow loss to fore-edge margins, else a nearly fine, bright copy. A pretty copy of an uncommon book. (#149747)
      [Bookseller: L. W. Currey, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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