Thursday, November 26, 2009
Dick Arnold Series by Earl Reed Silvers
Today's series is the Dick Arnold Series This three book series was written by Earl Reed Silvers and published by Appleton. These books highlight the life and athletic adventures of our here-Dick Arnold-at the fictional Raritan College. The stories of his athletic prowess are quite entertaining. I especially was interested in some of the times run by the athletes. In Dick Arnold of the Varsity, Dick runs a mile in 4:21. Now, of course, most decent high school boys can beat that but in 1921 that time was really good.
These books are quite uncommon. Appleton did not have high volume print runs. I remember a researcher found that the 1922 Andy Blake juvenile book had less than 1000 copies leave the factory. Although possibly overreaching, I am of the mind that most all of the Appleton juvenile series books of the early 1920's had similar low print runs. That makes these series very hard to find with or without jackets. That also accounts for dealers' high prices.
Earl Reed Silvers was an educator as well as a relatively prolific author. He was born in New Jersey, educated at Rutgers University and went on to become the Dean of Men at his alma mater. He died from a heart attack at the age of 57 in 1948. He wrote more than 25 juvenile books for boys as well as over a 1000 short stories.
His book for boys frequently revolved around college life and athletics. This is understandable as Silvers was a great athlete at Rutgers starring in track, baseball basketball and football.
He wrote five juvenile series (including this one) listed in Mattson's guide. He also wrote the Carol Series which is about a girl in camp and high school. All of these series were published by Appleton and thus are relatively scarce.
This series was reprinted by Appleton-Century
The Dick Arnold Series
1. Dick Arnold of Raritan College 1920
2. Dick Arnold Plays the Game 1920
3. Dick Arnold of the Varsity 1921