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A l'abri, or, The tent pitch'd.

Willis, Nathaniel Parker.

Published by Samuel Colman (pr. by Scatcherd & Adams), New York, 1839
Soft cover
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SessaBks (ABAA, ILAB)
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

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About this Item

First edition of this series of lighthearted letters written in and about the valley of the Susquehanna, near Owego, New York. An author of notable but ephemeral fame, Willis came from a talented family: His grandfather published newspapers in both the north and south of the U.S., his father founded the Youth's Companion (the first newspaper specifically for children), his sister enjoyed much literary success under the pen name Fanny Fern, and his brother Richard Stolls Willis was a music critic and composer known for hymns including "It Came upon the Midnight Clear." Willis himself was the founder of the magazine that became the Home Journal, and was celebrated in his day for his essays and travel writings as well as several collections of his journalistic work. The Cambridge History of American Literature calls him the "prince of magazinists," and remarks on "the evanescent sparkle and glancing brilliance" of A L'abri, later known as Letters from under a Bridge. These charming, witty essays touch on Willis's Yale education (and its lack of practical application!); fishing; a dinner with Lady Blessington, Benjamin Disraeli, Count D'Orsay, and Lord Durham; the possibility of local railroad construction to connect the Hudson with Lake Erie; the relationship of American to British literature, etc. Whatever the ostensible topics of the individual letters, each touches in affectionate and amusing fashion on some aspect of life in the Susquehanna region. A publishing practice, demonstrated: Bound in at the back of this volume are yellow printed paper wrappers for John Smith's Letters, and the title-page and preface for Fireside Education ? both items published by Colman in the same year as the present work. 12mo (19.2 cm, 7.6"). 172, 12 (adv.) pp. BAL 22752 (spine label in first state, cloth described as "Brown S cloth "); American Imprints 59260; Fearing, Check List of Books on Angling, Fishing, Fisheries, Fish-Culture, etc., 135; Sabin 104504. On Willis, see: Cambridge History of American Literature online. Publisher's brown cloth embossed with floret and dash pattern, spine with printed paper label; corners rubbed, and spine cloth chipped with paper label chipped and darkened. Front free endpaper with early pencilled ownership inscription. Foxing throughout; occasional pencilled marginalia and marks of emphasis. Bookseller Inventory # 25806

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A l'abri, or, The tent pitch'd.

Publisher: Samuel Colman (pr. by Scatcherd & Adams), New York

Publication Date: 1839

Binding: Soft cover

Edition: 1st Edition

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