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Poems of Life and Death. Original Illustrated Manuscript from the Edwardian Era from the Philadelphia Area.
Philadelphia 1905 - 185 leaves (32 on regular paper, the rest on heavy cardstock) written on the recto and hand numbered in pencil on the verso. Red wrappers decorated by hand, all edges gilt. Each page, from the illustrated title to the song included at the end, is painstakingly hand written in ink, mainly black. One leaf is done in blue ink. Many of the pages have decorated initials and drawings in different sizes. Includes a glossary "containing not definitions by Webster or Worcester but the meaning of the authoress!" Also, a contemporary portrait photo of the author. The preface (dated November 1905) is by Edward Jay (Edward John Paxson), a native of Philadelphia, who is also the author of the calligraphy and drawings. It tells the poignant story of Anna: "Born in Glasgow, Scotland, her early childhood was spent on an estate belonging to her father's brother -- Robin Shaw -- upon the shores of Lake Erne (Ireland). Her father, Matthew Shaw, was a member of the Queen's East Indian Army. His wife was a descendant of Lord Bacon. At sixteen years of age (Anna) left her beloved Scotland (and came) to America to be with her brothers who had preceded her to the "Land of the Free". To her it was to be a land of slavery and constant toil and sorrow -- a living death! Motherless and inexperienced she was an easy prey, and at an early age. she was united to one seven years her senior. capable of enticing an innocent child into a life of unfruitfulness and slavish toil. While he was writing hymns and shouting for Jesus, she was toiling with her needle until the midnight hour to bread -- and forbid to write. Let him be nameless here! Chance placed her in my path, and I thus stumbled upon hidden mines of sparkling gems which are now brought out into the light of day." A warning on the last page reads: "Caution!!! As these pages are to be reproduced by photo-electrotype do not smut them by turning leaves with wet fingers or break them by careless handling. Keep the book clean!!" The covers, made of stiff red paper, are detached and the spine is missing. Internally very clean. The photo is in very good condition as well. A remarkable example of penmanship from the Edwardian era.
      [Bookseller: Parigi Books, ABAA/ILAB]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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