Saturday, September 5, 2009

Family Flight Series By the Hales

Susan Hale (1833-1910) and her brother Edward Everett Hale wrote the five book Family Flight Series. Of course, Edward is the well known of the two having authored A Man Without a Country among other books. Susan, on the other hand, wrote only a few volumes outside of this series.

Edward will be discussed in the future. Susan was a teacher following her basic education. She taught until she was close to thirty. Thereafter she traveled throughout the world for a period of time. She took up painting as an avocation. In the 1870's she took lessons in Europe. In her 40's she lectured extensively to various women's groups. These lectures (readings) were published in the book "Men and Manners of the Eighteenth Century" 1898. Throughout the years after her return from Europe and her travels she had a studio an art studio in Boston and taught from that location. (American Women Writers, Lisa Mainiero, Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1980.) A much more complete biography can be found at

The Family Flights Series was another effort by the Lothrop publishing house to compete with the Zig Zag Series by Hezekiah Butterworth and the Boy Travelers by Thomas Knox. These oversized books came in two formats. An illuminated board cover book described as having "double lithograph covers" which was priced at $2.00 and an elegant cloth binding with colors and gold gilt pictures. This book cost $2.50. Lothrop advertisements stated: The narrative is told succinctly and with animation..". In a similar fashion to other travelogue books of the era, there are numerous sketches and woodcuts throughout the books.

The books were initially published by D. Lothrop and Company. Later editions were published by D. Lothrop Co. and finally by Lothrop Publishing Company.

Tomorrow I will review the series reprints and other publishing Company editions.

The books:
1. A Family Flight Through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland 1881
2. A Family Flight over Egypt and Syria 1882
3. A Family Flight Through Spain 1883 (written by Susan Hale alone)
4. A Family Flight Around Home 1885
5. A Family Flight Through Mexico 1886

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