The Well-Spent Hour. No. I. [and more]

By: Follen, Eliza Lee Cabot ; (1787-1860)

Price: $249.99

Quantity: 1 available


108 pages; Contemporary (probably publisher's) boards backed with plain linen cloth. Brief contemporary ink inscription on the front free endpaper -- no other marks. The binding is worn and rubbed, with modest damage to the cloth at the top of the spine and some superficial splitting along the outer hinge. The author of this scarce and important American book intended for children was Eliza Lee Cabot, whose biographical notices present her as the daughter of a noted abolitionist and the wife of another. Both facts are true, but Eliza Lee Cabot deserves attention as a succesful writer and avid abolitionist on her own account. Her father, Samuel Cabot of Boston died in 1819, ten years after her mother had died. So Eliza and her two sisters established a independent household of their own. During those years, Eliza's friend and fellow author Catharine Sedgwick, introduced her to Charles Follen - German poet and patriot, who had moved to the United States in 1824. Follen had been born Karl Theodor Christian Friedrich Follen in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany [1796-1840]. Renaming himself "Charles" - Mr. Follen moved to the Boston area, after receiving helpful introductions from the Marquis de Lafayette. Charles Follen, whose departure from Europe had been made necessary by his radical devotion to republican ideals, was eventually to become the first professor of German at Harvard University. But it should be remembered that he was nine years younger than Eliza Cabot, who, in many respects had initially been a mentor to her future husband. They married in 1828, establishing a household in Cambridge at the corner of Waterhouse Street and what is now Follen Street, with the substantial assistance of Eliza's Cabot relatives. The Follens were friends and colleagues with most of the New England Transcendentalists, and helped introduce them to German Romantic thought. Charles Follen died young when returning to Boston from a lecture tour when the steamship "Lexington" caught fire and sank in a storm in the Long Island Sound in 1840. His widow, Eliza survived him by almost twenty years and wrote a number of books during that time, including a five volume set of 'The works of Charles Follen, with a memoir of his life' - in 1846. But our anonymous book, "The Well-Spent Hour' is her first publication, and the only work Eliza published before she married Charles Follen. Initially, these little stories were separately published, the first one appearing from Wait, Greene & Co. in 1827. Our volume gathers Eliza Cabot Follen's "Well-Spent Hours" tales originally numbered 1, 3-7 and 11-12 in a plain binding of boards, with an 1828 title page from the original publishers (at their early address: "13, Court Street" in Boston). And while it does state: "Second Edition" we can find no earlier "collected" edition. [OCLC is distinctly unhelpful, with much confusion of the individual parts; the American Antiquarian Society has a carefully catalogued volume which precisely matches the details of ours offered here - (apart from theirs having coloring to the vignette engraving on their title page), including the binding in cloth-backed boards, and the odd pagination: [ 10, [1], 4-11, [4], 4-13, [2], 4-15, [2], 4-15, [2], 4-15, [2], 4-17, [2], 4-16 pp. -- see AAS CL F6675 W39 1828 -- Record ID:252930]. AAS has a considerable holding of the individual parts in wrappers, but no collected edition earlier than this 1828 "Second edition." There was a "third edition" which appeared in 1832 (with the copyright in Charles Follen's name!). That edition was used for the preparation of a British edition edited by the Rev. Samuel Wood. [Curiously, Wood used his editorial judgement to excise Eliza Follen's description, in great detail, from a mother to her curious daughter concerning the structure and function of the human eye and its connection from retina to the brain -- "as he was informed by an eminent oculist that it was not correct, as given in the original edition (i.e., ours). The curious can judge for themselves by reading the second tale in our volume, which certainly seems startlingly up-to-date in its presentation of the matter, for a children's book from the late 1820's]. The modern scholar Phyllis Moe wrote of Eliza Cabot Follen that "Although her children's poetry is now almost forgotten, [she] was a pioneer who turned from the harsh, marbid verse characteritic of early 19th-c. American children's poetry to rhymes frankly meant to give more pleasure than instruction." Additionally, her place in the history of the abolitionist movement is secure. Even though she was criticized by some opponents as too radical, Eliza Follen lectured widely on the subject and helped to organize antislavery bazaars to raise necessary funds for the cause. As a writer, she edited the abolitionist annual -- "The Liberty Bell," and wrote contributions for the Anti-Slavery Tract Collection. Not to mention her 1855 book: "To Mothers in the Free States." Her work certainly deserves modern attention, and it can be asserted that this first book of hers is quite rare in commerce. In addition to the AAS copy mentioned above, Harvard has a copy which is catalogued in less detail, but may also correspond to our 1828 edition -- [see HOLLIS Number : 007131874 -- Houghton *57-1040 no.4].

Title: The Well-Spent Hour. No. I. [and more]

Author Name: Follen, Eliza Lee Cabot ; (1787-1860)

Categories: African American Studies, 19th Century, Americana and American History, Childrens and Juvenile,

Edition: Second Edition

Publisher: Boston, Wait, Greene & Co. 13, Court Street. Press of Isaac R. Butts & Co.,: 1828

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good-

Size: 16mo

Seller ID: 41621

Keywords: Charles Follen Abolitionist New England Transcendentalists Cabot Women writers