Title: Hermit, or an Account of Francis Adam Joseph...
Publication Date: 1811
Edition: 1st Edition
[ATKINSON, JOHN]. The Hermit, or an Account of Francis Adam Joseph Phyle . who Lived without the Use of Fire for Upwards of Twenty-Two Years, in a Small Cave, in the Midst of a Wood, near Mount-Holly, in Burlington County, New Jersey; and was found Dead therein, in the Year 1780. In a Series of Letters. New Jersey: John Atkinson; John Bioren, printer, Phila., 1811. 98 [of 102] p., lacking the final two leaves. Untrimmed, in the original paper-covered boards (heavily worn, spine covering lacking and sewing breaking). Internally foxed and with some marginal dampstaining. A good copy only. First edition of the first separately printed account of the Mount Holly Hermit. The hermit was real, and lived in a crude cave-like dwelling in Joseph Burr's woods. He was a local curiosity, and there are very brief accounts of him in a few eighteenth- century diaries, in Smith's 1765 history of New Jersey, and in the New- Jersey Gazette. Atkinson took the facts and added his own embellishments, as was a common practice in the cheap, sensational literature of the period, so it is difficult today to determine where fact ends and fiction begins. The book is rare, and the few copies that have been on the market in the last forty years have all been imperfect. This copy lacks the last two printed leaves, which accounts for the low price. For a very detailed account of the hermit and Atkinson's book, see Felcone, New Jersey Books, 339 (this copy). S&S 23004. Bookseller Inventory # 14379
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