London: Ernest Nister; New York: E. P. Dutton; #3227 (1.1. on top board, 11 on title page) 1911; red and white paper boards with large illustration of a mounted General Spooley commanding his new spool soldiers; plain endpapers, red cloth spine; 12 chromolitho plates, including frontis, and many b/w illustrations in text; 8.25x9. Juvenile hardback.
Our little tree already has a glorious future in mind when he witnesses a Great War (Civil War) battle with a victorious Union Army. He decides that he wants to be just like the General, so he grows straight and tall. He is chosen for toy shop lumber and becomes the leader of 11 wooden soldiers for Tommy's Christmas. His excellent discipline and strategy ensure Tommy's victories, and even when some of his men are worn and lost, he is promoted to General and put in charge of a successful army of spools. Then as Tommy grows up, General Spooley helps him with his studies and accompanies him to his base, meeting the original Union General as an old man. A happy ending ensues for them both, unlike the fate of Andersen's tree. An odd, original book, and a good read, by an expert in military heraldry among many other subjects, with rather primitive but charming and colourful chromos, not in Hunt.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names, clean bright boards with rubbed edges and extrems, especially bottom corners, edges toned, light margin soil on one or two pages. Recently professionally tightened, three closed margin tears inconspicuously glued, retaining all original materials. Item #20413