Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Marco Paul's Adventures by Jacob Abbott

Before Rollo travelled to Europe, Marco Paul meandered through the Northeast. Jacob Abbott's six book series was initially published in 1843. It was reprinted a number of times, the latest editions being done in the 1880's.

Abbott stated in his preface that the design of these books was not just to entertain readers with a "narrative of juvenile adventures" but also to help the reader in the "acquisition of knowledge and the formation of character". As was typical of the era, books for boys and girls were to educate, promote religion and inspire morality. It was not until the 1850's with Goulding's Young Marooners that juvenile books really sought to entertain. But even in the 1850's reviews cited the Marco Paul books as "among the best books which can be put into the hands of youth". Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, William Dana, 1852

Although the Abbott books of this and his other series still sold well into the 1880's and 1890's , more and more they became niche books.

T. H. Carter 1844 T.H. Carter 1843

In this series Marco, a boy of about twelve travelled with his cousin (and tutor) John Forester in the Pursuit of Knowledge. In fact initially the series was known as Marco Paul's Adventures in Pursuit of Knowledge. Later once B.B. Mussey in 1848 and then Harper and Brothers began reprinting the volumes in 1852 the title was expanded to Voyages and Travels in the Pursuit of Knowledge.

Initially all six volumes were Published by T.H. Carter & Company in Boston in 1843. Preceding the hardcover versions the stories were published in 12 monthly parts. These parts which were 12.5 cents each had 144 pages. I believe but am not sure that the serialized version appeared in the Girls' and Boys' Magazine edited by Mrs. S. Colman. The books were published throughout 1843.

In 1844 and 1845 the series was republished by T.H. Carter. As of 1845 the title page said 5th edition on the titles.

In 1844, 1845 and 1848 Benjamin B. Mussey of Boston also published the set. Of note is that these two publishers were printing the books at the same exact time in the same city.

Later in 1848 Wm. J. Reynolds published the set.

B.B. Mussey 1848

Wm. J. Reynolds 1848

Harper and Brothers 1852

Harper and Brothers did several reprint editions between 1852-1853 and later in 1880. The first four books were first done by Harper in 1852 and the last two were done in 1853.

It was not until the earliest of the Harper reprints that the name of Jacob Abbott appeared on the title page. Prior to this it said "By the Author of Rollo, Jonas and Lucy Books. THe Marco Paul series came boxed as a set by Harpers. They could also be purchased individually. In 1858 the books were 50 cents , by 1870 they were 90 cents each.

The books:
Marco Paul
1. In the City of New York
2. On the Erie Canal
3. In the Forests of Maine
4. In Vermont
5. In the City of Boston
6. At the Springfield Armory

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting all this fascinating material. I really appreciate it.