Sunday, July 12, 2009

Peter Parley to Penrod-Peck's Bad Boy

Here are the 1883 Belford, Clarke and Company
covers for Peck's Bad Boy

Peter Parley to Penrod is a book that was written by the noted bibliographer Jacob Blanck. The book's subtitle is "A Bibliographical Description of the Best-Loved American Juvenile Books." It was published in 1938. Blanck noted in his preface that the selections of books he used were not "all representative"
They were books that either were still popular in that era or books he considered milestone types.

Here are the Canadian
1883 Peck's Bad Boy published by he Rose Publishing Company and
the 1883 book in wraps

There are 113 books given full page descriptions and a group of 43 "borderline selections" with short descriptions but having the power of being a Peter Parley to Penrod book.

Here is the 5/8 inches apart lines. Later edition

Below is the 7/8 inches apart lines. First edition.

By being included in this book, a title gains a profound status. Its first edition became valuable whereas an arbitrarily excluded book can remain effectively without value. I guess that's what they call the luck of the draw.

I thought from time to time I would blog one of these books.

Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa was written by George W. Peck and published first by Belford, Clarke and Co.
The first state of the first edition can be determined by studying the copyright notice on the verso of the title page. The copyright notice is between two lines that are .875 inches apart. later editions have lines that are .625 inches apart or have no lines at all. The first editions can be in paper wraps or cloth. The title page must have 1883 and there is no text beyond page 196 (except for ads).

There are a couple other points that Blanck makes about the earliest of the first edition books (which I do not have). Those copies do not have broken type in the last line of text on page 196 and do not have the page at the front which is "A Card from the Author". Blanck speculates that the latter point may only have been noted in presentation copies.

The Canadian copy of this title was published by the Rose Publishing Company (Toronto) in 1883. It is unclear when this was published as compared to the American books. There is no broken type on page 196 in this edition.

For information on the life of George W. Peck and his books/ephemera take a look at which is my work in progress website.

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