Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1849 1st tp; brown cloth with gilt title , elaborate blindstamped decoration top and bottom board; plain spine and endpapers; hand coloured frontis and illustrations in text; 4.75 x 6"; 58 pp. + 6 page Publisher. Small hardback.
A family of happy children drop in on their old nurse bringing flowers and song. Through the frank curiousity of the youngest, they learn that the nurse's husband took so long returning from the war because he was stranded on a cannibal island. 26 pages with graphic comments follow! From the youngest: "They might have ate part of him. they might have taken a toe or two or something of that kind, you know, " returned the little girl, "just by way of taste." At times Mary Hughs sounds more like E. Nesbit than a mid Victrian religious writer!
A note on this long section tells us that it is adapted from "Four month's residence in the Marquesas" which you will recognize as Meville's recently published Typee (1846).
Mary Robson of Newcastle, a writer of worthwhile books, married Thomas Hughes, emigrated to Philadelphia, and founded a well regarded school, thanks to the fame of her books, which preceded her. She taught for 18 years, then retired to the country, continuing to write for children. Surely, as the author states in her preface, this book succeeded in awakening "an interest in the minds of the young"!
CONDITION: Good Plus; because the front endpaper has been neatly excised, otherwise very nice, with a pale, fine April,1850 inscription on back of the frontis, which is hard to read due to dark shadow of the handcolouring, corners bumped, light margin soil and printer's crease on title page, remaining pages and catalogue very clean, bright white, and unwrinkled with a large dark font. Item #22594