Friday, August 12, 2011

Joan of Arc by Sarah Larkin 1951 First Edition Narrative Poem

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Title: Joan of Arc

Author: Sarah Larkin

Storyline: The thoughts, the visions and experiences of the Maid of Domremy as Joan, lying on her prison cot, recalls the salient events of her life. It is the story, too, of spiritual development and one is conscious of the self-discipline and courage required to walk the long path from the life of a simple village maid to that of a martyr.

Copyright: 1951

Published: 1951 (First Edition)

Publisher: Philosophical Library, New York

Format: Gray cloth-bound hardcover, with original dust-jacket

Page Count: 50

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making Over Martha by Julie M. Lippmann 1913 Women's Novel

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Title: Making Over Martha

Author: Julie Mathilde Lippmann

Storyline: The continuing adventures of Martha Slawson, a strong, kindly and humorous Irish serving woman in New York

Copyright: 1913

Publication: 1913

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, New York

Format: Green cloth-bound hardcover with applied plate to front cover

Page Count: 292

Author Biography:

Lippmann, Julie Mathilde (b.1864-d.1952) A popular American novelist, playwright and political activist, Lippman rubbed elbows with the literati of the day. Her most well known book is Martha-By-The-Day (1914) which she successfully made into a stage play in 1919. Lippman's  friends included Louisa May Alcott  and Mark Twain. Lippmann was a dedicated supporter of Theodore Roosevelt, worked for womens' suffrage, and wrote American propaganda during the First World War. Lippman lived and worked in New York City until she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she resided until her death.

Works include:  Sweet P's (1905); Making Over Martha (1913); Martha-By-The-Day (1914); Martha and Cupid (1914); Flexible Ferdinand (1919)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Feast of Lanterns by Louise Jordan Miln 1920 Women's Novel

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Title: The Feast of Lanterns

Author: Louise Jordan Miln

Storyline: Author of many novels set in early 20th Century China, Mrs. Miln continues to write about Asian life and Asian characters as they relate to each other, rather than using the orient as an exotic setting for a story about westerners.

Copyright: 1920

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 304

Monday, July 4, 2011

Contrary Mary by Temple Bailey 1914 Women's Novel

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Title: Contrary Mary

Author: Temple Bailey

Illustrator: Charles S. Corson

Storyline: Independent, youthful, and vivacious Mary Ballard has just inherited her parent's huge Victorian house on the hill. Mary throws caution to the wind and rents her father's book-filled living quarters to the genteel but mysterious Roger Poole. When her sister moves out after her nuptials, Mr. Poole and Miss Balllard will be alone under one roof! How could Mary behave so scandalously? What has caused Mr. Poole's reduced circumstances? Will they wind-up living happily ever after? Order Contrary Mary and find out!

Copyright: 1914

Publication: 1915

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Format: Green cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 388

Author Biography:

Bailey, Irene Temple (b.1885–d.1953) A prolific American novelist, short story, and screen writer. Bailey was a best selling author who contributed to American magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, McClure's, Woman's Home Companion, Good Housekeeping, and McCall's.

Works include: Glory of Youth (1913); Contrary Mary (1914); Adventures in Girlhood (1917); Mistress Anne (1917); The Tin Soldier (1918) - No. 8 for the year 1919 in the U.S.; Trumpeter Swan (1920); The Gay Cockade (1921); The Dim Lantern (1922) - No.5 for the year 1923 in the U.S.; Judy (1923); Peacock Feathers (1924) - made into a motion picture; Holly Hedge, and other Christmas stories (1925); The Blue Window (1926) - No. 10 for the year 1926 in the U.S.; Wallflowers (1927) - made into a motion picture; Silver Slippers (1928); Star in the Well; a Christmas story (1928); Burning Beauty (1929); Wild Wind (1930); So this Is Christmas (1931); Little Girl Lost (1932); Enchanted Ground (1933); Radiant tree, and other stories (1934); Fair as the Moon (1935); I've Been To London (1937); Tomorrow's Promise (1938); The Blue Cloak (1941); Pink Camellia (1942); Red Fruit (1945)

The Hidden Heart by Dorothy Black 1940's Girl's Novel of Young Love

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Title: The Hidden Heart 

Author: Dorothy Black

Storyline: Will our young heroine Prudence Carlyon marry for romance or financial security? Will she follow her heart and snag gallant Ronald Mallow just home from the service and live in his enchanting English country cottage Wild Strawberry Farm, or will she marry her betrothed Sir Hector Massingberd and live in his palatial estate? Who will our dear young Prue choose in this age old dilemma of marrying for love or money?

Copyrights: 1946, 1947

Publication: 1948

Publisher: Triangle Books, New York

Format: Photo-printed hardcover

Page Count: 249

Family Pride by Mary J. Holmes c.1904 Women's Civil War Novel

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Title: Family Pride

Author: Mary J. Holmes

Storyline: The widowed Mrs. Lucy Lennox returns to her Revolutionary war era home in the bay state town of rural Silverton where she was raised by her steady clergyman uncle, Deacon Ephram Barlow, her diligent aunt Hannah, and maiden-lady cousin, Miss Betsy. Lucy brings with her two daughters, Katy and Helen. Bright young thing Katy has caught the eye of her staid cousin Dr. Morris Grant. Grant wrote to Katy while at medical school in Paris, and upon his return to Silverton, paid for Katy's finishing school at Canandaigua Seminary. But wait, home from the seminary, Katy is now off on a grand tour of Boston and Montreal with Mrs. Woodhull and party! Will Morris be able to make his move and capture the heart of cousin Katy before she is lost to eastern society? Order your vintage copy of bestselling author Mary Jane Holmes' Family Pride and see if it all ends happily.

Copyright: unstated, c.1904

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Format: Red cloth-bound hardcover with applied photo plate to front cover

Page Count: 320

Author Biography:

Holmes, Mary J. (b.1825-d.1907) Born Hawes in Massachusetts, to a large middle-class family that encouraged learning among their children, both boys and girls. At the early age of 13, she taught school and began to write. She married Daniel Holmes, a Yale graduate, and resided in Kentucky Bluegrass region before the Civil War, until she finally settled in Brockport, NY, where her husband went to study law. She used her experiences down south as the subject of a number of her novels. Although her work was not given serious critical attention from the literary establishment in her time (an old boys club), she sold millions of copies, and was second only to Harriet Beecher Stowe as a best-selling female author. Her books have recently been re-evaluated for their direct treatment of race, class, gender and slavery.

Works include: Tempest and Sunshine (1854); The English Orphans (1855); The Homestead on the Hillside, and other Tales (1855); Lena Rivers (1856); Meadow Brook (1857); Dora Deane, or the East India Uncle, and Maggie Miller, or Hagar's Secret (1858); Cousin Maude and Rosamond (1860); Marian Grey (1863); Hugh Worthington (1863); Darkness and Daylight (1864); The Cameron Pride, or Purified by Suffering, or Family Pride (1867); The Christmas Font, a story for young folks (1868); Rose Mather, a Tale of the War (1868); Ethelyn's Mistake (1869); Millbank (1871); Edna Browning (1872); West Lawn, and the Rector of St. Mark's (1874); Mildred (1877); Daisy Thornton (1878); Forest House (1879); Chateau d'Or (1880); Red Bird (1880); Madeline (1881); Queenie Hatherton (1883); Christmas Stories (1884); Bessie's Fortune (1885); Gretchen (1887)

We Must March: a Novel of the Winning of Oregon. Honore Willsie Morrow

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Title: We Must March

Author: Honore Willsie Morrow

Storyline: The historical story of Narcissa Whitman, a heroic soul who played a vital role in the early history of northwestern America. All names, places, and significant events are fact, based on Narcissa's own journal.

Copyright: 1925

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Brown cloth-bound hardcover with gilt lettering

Page Count: 425

Author Biography:

Morrow, Honore Willsie (b.1880-d.1940) Wife of famous publisher William Morrow. She is well known for her attention to historical detail and her vivid prose. Born in Ottumwa, Iowa to (lawyer) William McCue and Lilly Head McCue. Earned a degree in history from University of Wisconsin and married construction engineer Henry Willsie. Lived in Arizona and wrote western stories for Collier's magazine and Harper's Weekly. Her first novel was "Heart of the Desert" in 1913. She divorced Willsie in 1922 and married William Morrow the next year. They had a son, Richard, and two daughters, Felicia and Anne. She lived part of the year in a cottage in Devon, England.

Works include: Heart of the Desert (1913); Still Jim (1915); Enchanted Canyon (1921); We Must March (1925); The Devonshers (1924); The Father of Little Women (1927); Forever Free: A Novel of Abraham Lincoln (1927); With Malice Toward None (1928); Mary Todd Lincoln (1928); Splendor of God (1929); The Last Full Measure (1930); Yonder Sails the Mayflower (1934); Demon Daughter (1939); The Forbidden Trail

The Little Locksmith by Katherine Butler Hathaway 1940's Autobiography

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Title: The Little Locksmith

Author: Katherine Butler Hathaway

Storyline: An autobiographical narrative chronicling great events, from the loneliness of a childhood illness through to the accomplishments and fulfillment of womanhood. A deep and loving analysis of intimate family relationships told with astonishing candor and simplicity - wholly and entirely original. Portions were originally published serially in the Atlantic Monthly, the book presents the entire story, published soon after the author's untimely death. Boston Globe review: "No words can convey the fascination and charm of this story...The writing itself is a sheer delight..."

Copyrights: 1942, 1943

Publication: 1943

Publisher: Coward-McMann, Inc., New York

Format: Red cloth-bound hardcover with black floral decoration, in original dustjacket

Page Count: 237

Author Biography:

Hathaway, Katharine Butler (b.1890-d.1942) Born in Baltimore, Maryland. She spent her childhood in Salem, Massachusetts where she suffered tuberculosis of the spine and had to lie flat on her back for ten years. Her education consisted of one year at Abbot Academy, Andover and another year at Miss McClintock's School, Boston. She entered Radcliffe in the fall of 1910 as a special student and attended to 1912. Although she did not graduate, she was made a member of the class of 1914. She married Daniel Rugg Hathaway in 1932, lived at Blue Hill, Maine and died in 1942. She wrote autobiographical works, children's stories, and poems.

Works include: Mr. Muffet's Cat and Her Trip to Paris (1934); The Little Locksmith (1943); The Journals and Letters of The Little Locksmith (1946)

The Ballad and the Source by Rosamond Lehmann 1945 Women's Novel

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Title: The Ballad and the Source 

Author: Rosamond Lehmann

Storyline: Set between the mid-Victorian era and the First World War, 10-year-old Rebecca is living in the country with her family when Sibyl Jardine, an enigmatic and powerful old woman, returns to her property in the neighborhood. Rebecca becomes drawn into the strange complications of the old lady's life - with her husband, her errant daughter, and her grandchildren. Through the spellbound eyes of the young Rebecca we encounter the scandalous family history of the passionate, and stormy, life of the feminist Sibyl.

Copyright: 1945

Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock, New York

Format: Green cloth-bound hardcover with red lettering

Page Count: 312

Author Biography:

Lehmann, Rosamond Nina (b.1901-d.1990) A popular, beautiful and talented British female writer of the 1920s and '30s. She was known for capturing the post WWI outlook of her "lost Generation." She was very skillful at depicting the bind women of the time experienced as war and technology modernized social conventions permanently. She brought home the now eternal feminist problem of having it all: surrendering to a man versus being independent.

Works include: Dusty Answer (1927); A Note in Music (1930); Invitation to the Waltz (1932); The Weather in the Streets (1936); No More Music (1939); The Ballad and the Source (1944); The Gipsy's Baby & Other Stories (1946); The Echoing Grove (1953); The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life (1967); A Sea-Grape Tree (1976); Moments of Truth (1986)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Four Roads to Paradise by Maud Wilder Goodwin 1904 Historical Novel

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Author: Maud Wilder Goodwin

Illustrator: Arthur I. Keller

Storyline: Considered to be Goodwin's best work, we have the story of a self-centered Episcopal priest, Stuart Walford, who travels Europe (where much of the novel is set). Complications arise when he is attracted to the bishop's niece, Anne Blythe. Anne's focus, however, is on befriending her dead husband's illegitimate child. Who will find happiness in the end?

Copyrights: 1903, 1904

Published: 1904

Publisher: The Century Company, New York

Format: Brown cloth-bound hardcover with black decoration and lettering

Page Count: 347

Author Biography:

Goodwin, Maud Wilder (b.1856-d.1935) American. Best known for writing a book about her relative, Dolly Madison, and for Four Roads to Paradise, which some have compared to the works of Edith Wharton. Her historical novels are well researched, if dull. Her contemporary novels are thought to be more vivid.

Works include: Open Sesame! Poetry and Prose for School Days (edited by Goodwin, 1889); The Colonial Cavalier (1894); The Head of a Hundred (1895); Dolly Madison (1896); White Aprons (1896); Flint (1897); Sir Christopher(1901); Four Roads to Paradise (1904); Claims and Counterclaims (1905); Veronica Playfair (1909); Dutch and English on the Hudson (1919)

On Christmas Day In The Morning by Grace S. Richmond 1908 illustrated

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Title: On Christmas Day In The Morning

Author: Grace S. Richmond

Color plate illustrations: Charles M. Relyea

Storyline: Christmas promises broken, and promises kept unexpectedly. A beautiful little book about family relationships to warm the heart at any time of the year.

Copyrights: 1905, 1908

Published: 1908

Publisher: Doubleday, Page & Company, New York

Format: Boards with integral dust-jacket. Each text page with green decorative border.

Page Count: 40

Author Biography:

Richmond, Grace S. (b.1866–d.1959)  If you are the daughter of a clergyman, what does one do at the turn of the last century? Write! Grace sure did! Grace was a prolific commercial romance author, best known as the creator of the Dr. R.P. ("Red Pepper") Burns country doctor series.

Works include: The Indifference of Juliet (1902); The Second Violin (1907); With Juliet in England (1907); On Christmas Day in the Morning (1908); Round the Corner in Gay Street (1908); A Court of Inquiry (1909); On Christmas Day In The Evening (1910); Red Pepper Burns (1910); Strawberry Acres (1911); Brotherly House (1912); Mrs. Red Pepper (1913); Under the Christmas stars (1913); The Twenty-Fourth of June: Midsummer's Day (1914); Under the Country Sky (1916); The Brown Study (1917); Red Pepper's Patients (1917); The Enlisting Wife (1918); The Whistling Mother (1918); Red and Black (1919); The Bells of St. John's (1920); Rufus (1921); Foursquare (1922); Red of the Redfields (1924); Cherry Square (1926); Light's Up (1928); At the South Gate (1928); The Listening Post (1929); High Fences (1931); Red Pepper Returns (1931); Bachelor's Bounty (1932); Midsummer's Day (1934)

The Spinners by Eden Phillpotts 1918 Gritty British Novel of Mill Life

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Title: The Spinners

Author: Eden Phillpotts

Storyline: Time frame - circa the turn of the century (1900). Set in the English county of Dorset, our story begins with the funeral of the mill owner. His younger son, Raymond, must now learn the business from the older. He meets Sabina, the beautiful 19-year-old chief spinner, promises to marry her, takes her to bed, and then abandons her. The story is told in two sections - the first about Sabina's history, the second (which opens some ten years later) about Sabina's bastard son, in whose spirit is concentrated all the despair and bitterness his mother felt before his birth. As he grows, can he be turned by the love of another woman from the mill and reconcile with his father?

Copyright: 1918

Published: 1918 (First Edition)

Publisher: The Macmillan Company, New York

Format: Red cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 479

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Place Called Saturday by actress author Mary Astor 1968 Novel 1st Ed

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Title: A Place Called Saturday

Author: Mary Astor

Storyline: Cora March takes her stand on abortion, a stand that is to have a profound effect on her husband, her marriage, her future, her life... For Cora and Rafe March the life they share together in a small Arizona desert community is idyllic in every aspect save one: after almost four years of marriage they are still childless. Then one hot summer day Cora is brutally raped by a young and unknown assailant; three months later she learns she is pregnant. As her marriage starts to unravel over her refusal to have an abortion, the rapist is discovered, leading to a tense and agonizing climax. Astor deals forthrightly with the moral, ethical and emotional problems of a subject surrounded by taboos and controversy.

Copyright: 1968

Published: 1968 (First Edition)

Publisher: Delacorte Press, New York

Format: Yellow cloth-bound hardcover with decorative cover, in original dust-jacket

Page Count: 212

Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. Alice Hegan Rice 1962 Children's Story

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Title: Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch

Author: Alice Hegan Rice

Illustrators: Norma and Dan Garris

Storyline: Mrs. Wiggs, a widow, is left to raise five children in dire poverty, but faces life with optimism and hope. (This book was a bestseller for two years when originally published, and was adapted for a stage and screen several times, with one version in 1934 featuring W. C. Fields)

Copyright: 1901

Published: 1962

Publisher: Whitman Publishing Company, Wisconsin

Format: Photo-printed hardcover

Page Count: 138

Author Biography:
Rice, Alice Hegan (b.1870-d.1942) was an American novelist born in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Known as the author of her most famous work, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, Rice published over two dozen books in all. Many were produced in other languages, and are still in publication today. A best seller in 1902, the book was set in Louisville, Kentucky where she then lived, Mrs Wiggs was both a successful play in the early 1900s, and the basis of three Hollywood films. The 1934 version starred W. C. Fields. The story of Mrs. Wiggs was meant to bring attention and public sympathy to the plight of the less fortunate in the region where Rice lived. Married to Cale Young Rice (1872-1943), author, dramatist, and poet, Mrs. Rice rubbed elbows with other literary stars of the day, such as Thorton Wilder, and was well reviewed by Theodore Roosevelt.

Works include: Lovey Mary (1903); Sandy (1905); Captain June (1907); Mr. Opp (1909); A Romance of Billy-Goat Hill (1912); The Honorable Percival (1914)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

At Home With The Jardines by Lilian Bell 1906 Women's Novel

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Title: At Home With The Jardines

Author: Lilian Bell

Storyline: "Cast iron angel" Irish serving woman Mary jovially runs the lives of two New York society newlyweds. For a domestic sit com analogue think of the 1960s vintage TV show housekeeper "Mabel."

Copyright: 1902

Publication: 1906

Publisher: A. Wessels Company, New York

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover with embossed decoration

Page Count: 322

Author Biography:

Bell, Lillian (Mrs Bogue) (b.1867-d.1929) Published her first novel at age 26. She wrote mostly from her experience and her travels as the wife of upper-crust Arthur Hoyt Bogue of Chicago. Her father, Maj. William W. Bell, fought in the Civil War, as did did her grandfather, Gen. Joseph Warren Bell  (a Southerner, who sold and freed his slaves before the war, brought his family North, and organized the 13th Illinois Cavalry). Her great - great - grandfather, Captain Thomas Bell, served Virginia in the American Revolution. Lilian Bell was born in Chicago, but she was brought up in Atlanta.

Works include: The Love Affairs of an Old Maid (1893); Hope Loring; A Little Sister to the Wilderness (1895); The Under Side of Things; From a Girl's Point of View (1897); The Expatriates (1900); Abroad with the Jimmies (1900); At Home With The Jardines (1902); As Seen By Me; Carolina Lee (1907)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson Romantic Mystery

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Title: The House of a Thousand Candles

Author: Meredith Nicholson

Illustrator: Howard Chandler Christy

Storyline: This melodramatic novel has it all - romance and adventure, love and valor, secret passages and tunnels, and hidden treasure. The hero must live an entire year in an isolated house if he is to inherit it from his grandfather. Should he fail, he'll lose the house to a young woman whom the will forbids him to marry. The answer to the dilemma is a secret to be discovered.

Copyright: 1905

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover with applied plate, black lettering to spine

Page Count: 382

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Spinner In The Sun by Myrtle Reed 1906 Women's Mystery Novel

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Title: A Spinner In The Sun

Author: Myrtle Reed

Storyline: Miss Evelina Grey returns alone to her abandoned cottage and dormant garden after 25 years. What tragedy occurred to turn her hair white in one night? Who caused the fire that ruined her beauty and forced her to wear a veil? Why was she in the hospital all that time? There are many mysteries to be unraveled in the story of this enigmatic and interesting woman.

Copyright: 1906

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover with applied decorative plate to front cover

Page Count: 393

Author Biography:

Reed, Myrtle (b.1874–d.1911) American, wrote best selling novels, poetry, and cookbooks (as Olive Green). Daughter of a preacher and an oriental scholar. Born and died in Chicago, Illinois, and was married to her high school pen-pal. Was also known as a philanthropist who ordered her estate divided among her favorite charities after her tragic death by an intentional overdose of sleeping powder.

Works include: Love Letters of a Musician (1899); Later Love Letters of a Musician (1900); The Spinster Book (1901); Lavender and Old Lace (1902); The Shadow of Victory (1903); Pickaback Songs (1903); The Book of Clever Beasts (1904); The Master's Violin (1904); What to Have for Breakfast (1905); At the Sign of the Jack o' Lantern (1905) - made into a silent film directed by Lloyd Ingraham in 1922; A Spinner in the Sun (1906); Love Affairs of Literary Men (1907); One Thousand Simple Soups (1907); How to Cook Fish (1908); Flowers of the Dusk (1908) - made into a silent film directed by John H. Collins in 1918; One Thousand Salads (1909); Old Rose and Silver (1909); Master of the Vineyard (1910); Sonnets to a Lover (1910); Everyday Desserts (1911); A Weaver of Dreams (1911); The White Shield, a collection of short sketches by Myrtle Reed (1912); Threads of Gray and Gold (1913); Happy Women (1913)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Romance of Two Worlds by Marie Corelli vintage Women's Novel

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Title: A Romance of Two Worlds

Author: Marie Corelli

Storyline: Corelli's first novel is a fantastic allegory which encompasses the author's (rumored) fictionalized autobiographical search for proto-new age religious and philosophical enlightenment. Of course, the critics hated it, but everyone else ate it up! Bored fin de siecle actresses flirt with the devil and then write about it. Shirley MacLaine has nothing on Marie Corelli!

Copyright: unstated, 1886

Publication: unstated, c.1909

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York (Home Library Edition)

Format: Burgundy red cloth-bound hardcover with gilt lettering to spine

Page Count: 324

Author Biography:

Corelli, Marie  (b.1855–d.1924)  Born Mary Mackay in London, she was the illegitimate daughter of a well known Scottish poet and songwriter, Dr. Charles Mackay, and his servant, Elizabeth Mills. In 1866, the 11 year old Mary Mackay was sent to a Parisian convent to further her education (Wiki).  Already, her life was like the plot of a cheap novel! Later became a mid-19th Century publishing superstar who was loved by her readers (including the royal family and the Churchills). Like a mid-Victorian Danielle Steel, this bestselling author's works were judged to be over-the-top melodrama entirely without any literary merit by the critical establishment of the time. The name Marie Corelli dates from her early career on the musical stage (can't make this stuff up).

Works include: A Romance of Two Worlds (1886); Vendetta!; or, The Story of One Forgotten (1886); Thelma (1887); Ardath (1889); Wormwood: A Drama of Paris (1890); The Soul of Lilith (1892); Barabbas, A Dream of the Word's Tragedy (1893); The Sorrows of Satan (1895); The Mighty Atom (1896); The Murder of Delicia (1896); Ziska (1897); Boy (1900); Jane (1900); The Master-Christian (1900); Temporal Power: a Study in Supremacy (1902); God's Good Man (1904); The Strange Visitation of Josiah McNasson: A Ghost Story (1904); Treasure of Heaven (1906); Holy Orders, The Tragedy of a Quiet Life (1908); Life Everlasting (1911); Innocent, Her Fancy and His Fact (1914); The Young Diana (1918); The Secret Power (1921); Love and the Philosopher (1923)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Lives of Elizabeth by Shirley Seifert Pre-Civil War Romance

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Title: Three Lives of Elizabeth

Author: Shirley Seifert

Storyline: If you liked Gone With The Wind and other novels about women in the American Civil War period, you are sure to enjoy Shirley Seifert's Three Lives of Elizabeth. This technically accurate story is based on the life of Elizabeth Moss, a young Missouri widow who, through marriage, climbed up into antebellum Washington, DC and Kentucky high society. Elizabeth married once for love, once for money, and once again for position. The author leads the reader through a full gamut of action and excitement to the fulfillment of a long and extraordinary life.

Copyright: 1952

Publisher: J. B. Lippincott (Book Club Ed.)

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 287

Author Biography:

Seifert, Shirley. Born 1888 in St. Peters, Missouri, west of St. Louis, author  Shirley Seifert lived and worked all her life in the region.  Like the Brontes, Shirley and her sisters, Adele Seifert and Elizabeth Seifert Gasparotti, all wrote fiction.

Shirley studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin. While completing her graduate studies, she became interested in writing fiction.  She sold her first short stories to American Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post. After her success with mass marketed periodicals, in the mid-1930s, Shirley focused her work full time to writing historical novel genre fiction, a number of which were well known and well reviewed.

Besides becoming a successful author, Shirley was also instrumental in founding the St. Louis Writer's Guild in 1920.  This support group of six accomplished writers in the area is still operating today.  (Ref: Goodreads, St. Louis Writer's Guild, Danya Shaikh)

Works Include: Land of Tomorrow: A Legend of Kentucky (1937), The Wayfarer (1938), Death Stops at the Old Stone Inn (1938), River out of Eden (1940), Waters of the Wilderness (1941), Those Who Go Against the Current (1943), Captain Grant (1946), Proud Way (1948), Turquoise Trail (1950), Three Lives of Elizabeth (1952), Farewell My General (1955), Let My Name Stand Fair (1956), Destiny in Dallas (1958), Grace Church, Kirkwood, Missouri: Its Story (1959), Look to the Rose (1960), By the King's Command (1962), Key to St. Louis (1963), The Senator's Lady (1967), The Medicine Man (1971), Never No More (1976)  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Peking Picnic by Ann Bridge 1932 First Edition Women's Novel

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Title: Peking Picnic

Author: Ann Bridge

Storyline: The setting is exotic 1930's China. Laura Leroy is an interesting and complex woman. She thought she left her Oxford life behind when she moved to Peking with her husband. But wait! An attractive professor from Cambridge arrives and draws Laura in, threatening her new world. What will happen at the picnic?

Copyright: 1932

Publication: 1932 First Edition

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company, Boston

Format: Red cloth-bound hardcover with black lettering

Page Count: 355

Author Biography:

Bridge, Ann (b.1889-d.1974)  Born in the UK as Mary Anne O'Mally. Wrote novels about courtship based on her experiences living in Beijing, China with her diplomat husband. As she developed as a writer, she was noted for bringing to her novels emotional depth and a realistic portrayal of contemporary political environment.

Works include: Peking Picnic (1932); The Ginger Griffin (1934); Illyrian Spring (1935); Enchanter's Nightshade (1937); Four-Part Setting (1938); A Place to Stand (1940); Fontier Passage (1942); Frontier Passage (1942); Singing Waters (1943); And Then You Came (1948); The House At Kilmartin (1951); The Dark Moment (1951); A Family of Two Worlds: A Portrait of Her Mother (1955); The Lighthearted Quest (1956); The Portuguese Escape (1958); The Selective Traveller in Portugal (1958); Julia Involved: Three Julia Probyn Novels (1960); The Tightening String (1962); The Dangerous Islands (1963); Emergency in the Pyrenees (1965); The Episode at Toledo (1966); Facts and Fictions: Some Literary Recollections (1968); The Malady in Madeira (1970); Moments of Knowing (1970); Permission to Resign (1971); Julia in Ireland (1973)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Flutes of Shanghai by Louise Jordan Miln 1928 Women's Novel

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Title: The Flutes of Shanghai

Author: Louise Jordan Miln

Storyline: Romance and adventure among Europeans and Chinese in Shanghai. A contemporary reviewer from The Pacific Affairs journal (v2#2, Feb 1929) thinks Mrs. Miln did a very realistic, if somewhat unwieldy job of folding historic events in Shanghai into her romance novel set in old China of the 1920s. The reviewer also thinks that her views, favorable to the locals, won't win her any points with the people in the city's foreign colonial settlement.

Copyright: 1928

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 356

Author Biography:

Miln, Louise Jordan  (b.1864-d.1933).  Early 20th Century American novelist. Wife of traveling Shakespearean actor George Crichton Miln. Husband had little success until he performed in productions outside the US, most notably in Australia.

Works include: Mr. & Mrs. Sen; Mr. Wu (1920); The Purple Mask (1921); It Happened in Peking (1928); By Soochow Waters (1929); In a Shantung Garden (1924); In a Yun-Nan Courtyard (1927); The Green Goddess (1922); The Flutes of Shanghai (1928); The Feast of Lanterns (1934); The Soul of China, Glimpsed in Tales of Today and Yesterday; Peng Wee's Harvest; Rice: A Novel; Ann Zu-Zan, a Chinese Love Story; Ruben and Ivy Sen; Vintage of Yon Yee; Quaint Korea; The Soul of China; It Happened in Peking

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Told in the Hills by Marah Ellis Ryan 1891/1905 Women's Western Novel

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Title: Told in the Hills

Author: Marah Ellis Ryan

Storyline: Will our intrepid and independent heroine from back east, Rachel Hardy, find happiness in Northwestern Montana indian territory?  Will brothers Jack and Charles Stuart quit their blood feuding?  Is this even possible while indigenous Kutenai fight it out with the United States Cavalry?   Order this wonderful vintage copy of Told in the Hills and find out!

Copyrights: 1891/1905

Publication: 1905

Publisher: Rand McNally and Company, Chicago

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 362

Author Biography:

Ryan, Marah Ellis (b.1860 or 1866-d.1934) As Ellis Martin, married Samuel Erwin Ryan (b. 1834), an Irish actor and comedian, in 1883. From the New York Times obituary: "Mrs. Marah Ellis Ryan, writer and authority on Indians, died today at her home in the Silver Lake district from encephalitis (sleeping sickness) at the age of 68. Mrs. Ryan went to live among the Hopi Indians twenty-five years ago and claimed to be the only white woman ever admitted to the secret religious rites. She was noted as an authority on the tribal life of the Indians in the United States and Mexico. Mrs. Ryan was born in Butler County, Pa., a daughter of Graham and Sidney Mechling Martin. As a young woman she wrote a few poems and stories under the pen-name of 'Ellis Martin'..."

Works include: Merze: the Story of an Actress (1888 and 1894); In Loves' Domains: a Trilogy (c.1889); Told in the Hills (1891, 1905); A Pagan of the Alleghanies (1891); Squaw Elouise (1892); A Flower of France: a Story of Old Louisiana (1894, 1972); A Chance Child: Comrades, Hendrex and Margotte, and Persephone: Being Four Tales (1896); The Bondwoman (1899); That Girl Montana (1901); Miss Moccasins (c.1904); My Quaker Maid (1906); Indian Love Letters (1907); The Flute of the Gods (1909); For the Soul of Rafael (1910); The Woman of the Twilight; the story of a story (1913); Pagan Prayers (1913); The House of the Dawn (1914); The Druid Path (1917); The Treasure Trail: a Romance of the Land of Gold and Sunshine (1919); First Americans (1922); The Dancer of Tuluum (1924)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thelma: A Norwegian Princess by Marie Corelli Society Novel 3 Vol in 1

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Title: Thelma

Author: Marie Corelli

Storyline: Can a princess from the idyllic fjords of Scandinavia find happiness married to a minor English aristocrat? Will the jaded society of London cut our heroine dead, or will she triumph? Order this wonderful vintage copy of Corelli's Thelma for its brisk action and outstanding descriptions of the pristine land of the north.

Copyright: 1887 (not stated)

Publication: undated, circa 1900

Publisher: Donohue, Henneberry and Company, Chicago

Format: Plain burgundy cloth-bound hardcover with gilt lettering on spine

Page Count: 484

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cap'n Dan's Daughter by Joseph C. Lincoln 1914 Novel of Cape Cod

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Title: Cap'n Dan's Daughter

Author: Joseph C. Lincoln 

Illustrator: J. Henry

Storyline: Set in a fictional picturesque town on Cape Cod, populated by quaint old Yankee characters, Captain Dan has retired from the sea to open an emporium at the urging of his wife. Can the old sea captain really settle down to life on land? Will his beautiful, and mischievous, daughter Gertie be his undoing? A feel-good yarn of earlier times.

Copyright: 1914

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, Inc., New York

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover with applied plate to front cover

Page Count: 390

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Masquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston 1904 Bestseller Novel

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Title: The Masquerader

Author: Katherine Cecil Thurston

Illustrator: Clarence F. Underwood

Storyline: Political thriller titled John Chilcote, or The Masquerader in the United States. The troubled Chilicote switches identities with a lookalike to escape his problems. All kinds of mishaps ensue as confused wives and girl friends get caught up in political and personal intrigues. (This title was on the New York Times Best Seller list for two years, ranking as the third best-selling book for 1904 and the seventh best-selling in 1905. It was adaped into a broadway play and four different films.)

Copyright: 1904

Publication: 1904

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Format: Green cloth-bound hardcover with embossed design

Page Count: 328

Author Biography:

Thurston, Katherine Cecil. Born Katherine Cecil Madden in Cork, Ireland, daughter of the mayor of Cork. Her Father, also a banker, could afford to have her privately educated. After school, Thurston wrote short stories for a number of UK magazines like Pall Mall Magazine, and Harpers. She married writer Ernest Temple Thurston in 1901, but soon divorced because he was uncomfortable that she had a larger income as a popular writer. Her promising career ended abruptly when she was found dead in a hotel after asphyxiating from an apparent epileptic seizure.

Works include: The Masquerader (1904); The Gambler (1905) - which was a bestseller and first book by any author, female or male, as having two top-ten books in a single year; and Max (1910) - which was also a best seller.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strawberry Acres by Grace S. Richmond 1911 Women's Novel

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Title: Strawberry Acres

Author: Grace S. Richmond

Storyline: Spunky Sally Lane and her down-on-their-luck genteel family inherits a country estate from Uncle Max the banker.  What mysteries does the rambling house hold for our dear Sally?

Copyright: 1911

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 366

Author Biography:

Richmond, Grace S. (b.1866–d.1959)  If you are the daughter of a clergyman, what does one do at the turn of the last century? Write! Grace sure did! Grace was a prolific commercial romance author, best known as the creator of the Dr. R.P. ("Red Pepper") Burns country doctor series.

Works include: The Indifference of Juliet (1902); The Second Violin (1907); With Juliet in England (1907); On Christmas Day in the Morning (1908); Round the Corner in Gay Street (1908); A Court of Inquiry (1909); On Christmas Day In The Evening (1910); Red Pepper Burns (1910); Strawberry Acres (1911); Brotherly House (1912); Mrs. Red Pepper (1913); Under the Christmas stars (1913); The Twenty-Fourth of June: Midsummer's Day (1914); Under the Country Sky (1916); The Brown Study (1917); Red Pepper's Patients (1917); The Enlisting Wife (1918); The Whistling Mother (1918); Red and Black (1919); The Bells of St. John's (1920); Rufus (1921); Foursquare (1922); Red of the Redfields (1924); Cherry Square (1926); Light's Up (1928); At the South Gate (1928); The Listening Post (1929); High Fences (1931); Red Pepper Returns (1931); Bachelor's Bounty (1932); Midsummer's Day (1934)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dr. Rumsey's Patient: A Very Strange Story by L. T. Meade and Dr. Halifax

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Title:  Dr. Rumsey's Patient (A Very Strange Story)

Author:  L. T. Meade (Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith) and Dr. Halifax
Storyline:  Definitely a story of its time! Old Norman English aristocracy marries West Indian creole with money (paging Mr. Rochester!), but this time the insanity gene from the swarthy Caribbean branch of the family is in the males of the country squire's line. Fast forward to the turn of the 19th century. Young beautiful ward of local village innkeepers, Miss Hetty, pines for potentially nutty aristocratic young squire, Mr Awdry, and jilts nouveau riche student vacationer, Mr. Frere, in the blink of an eye. Mr. Awdry rescues Miss Hetty from the inappropriate advances of erstwhile suitor, Mr. Frere. Quite a set-up for class tensions and romantic clashes. Miss Hetty should be careful what she wishes for! 

Copyright: 1896 

Publisher:  Hurst & Company 

Format:  Cloth-bound hardcover 

Page Count:  305

Author Biography:

Meade, L. T. (b.1854–d.1914) was the pen name of prolific Irish women's novel author Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith.  Daughter of a protestant clergyman, she moved to London and married Alfred Toulmin Smith in September 1879.  Author of more than 300 books, Meade's most popular best seller was A World of Girls (1886). Meade also edited the popular girls' magazine, Atalanta. Her work also appeared in magazines such as The Strand Magazine and Lady's Pictorial. Meade did some interesting work outside the romance novel genre. She collaborated with Robert Eustace on a number of mystery novels like The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings, which depicted gangsters with a female criminal mastermind as a boss, Madame Koluchy. Eustace and Meade wrote also The Sorceress of the Strand, about female criminal Madame Sara. Meade collaborated with an MD, Clifford Halifax, on Stories from the Diary of a Doctor. Although most well known for stories about girls at school, Meade in addition to mysteries, wrote "sentimental" fiction, religious stories, historical novels, adventure, romances, "sensational" stories. A feminist, Meade was a member of the  activist Pioneer Club. (Refs: Wiki,

Works Include: Ashton Morton (1866), David’s Little Lad (1877), A Knight of Today (1877), Bel Marjory: A Story of Conquest (1878), Water Lilies and Other Tales (1878), The Children’s Kingdom: The Story of a Great Endeavor (1878), Great St. Benedict’s: A Tale (1879), Laddie (1879), Dot and Her Treasures (1879), Andrew Harvey's Wife (1880), A Dweller in Tents (1880), The Floating Light of Ringfinnan, and Guardian Angels (1880), A Band of Three, Seaside Library (1882), How It All Came About (1883), The Children’s Pilgrimage (1883), Scarlet Anemone (1884), The Autocrat of the Nursery (1884), The Angel of Love (1885), A Little Silver Trumpet (1885), Beforehand (1887), Letters to Our Working-Party (1887), Deb and the Duchess: A Story for Boys and Girls (1888), The Golden Lady (1889), Frances Kane's Fortune, What Gold Cannot Buy (1890), The Heart of Gold (1890), Dickory Dock (1890), Hepsy Gipsy (1891), A Sweet Girl Graduate (1891), The Children of Wilton Chase (1891), Bashful Fifteen (1892), Jill, A Flower Girl (1892), Beyond the Blue Mountains (1893), Betty, A School Girl (1894), In an Iron Grip, 2 vols. (1894), Lettie’s Last Home (1895), Girls, New And Old (1895), Dr. Rumsey's Patient: A Very Strange Story (1896), The House of Surprises (1896), A Girl in Ten Thousand (1896), Bad Little Hannah (1897), Cave Perilous (1898), The Cleverest Woman in England (1898), All Sorts (1899), The Beresford Prize (1890), Catalina: Art Student (1897), A Bunch of Cherries: A Story of Cherry Court School (1898), The Desire of Men: An Impossibility (1899), A Brave Poor Things (1899), Daddy’s Girl (1900), The Girls of True Blue: A School Story (1901), The Blue Diamond (1901), The Cosey Corner, Or How They Kept A Farm (1901), The Girls of the Forest (1902), A Double Revenge (1902), Drift (1902), The Burden of Her Youth (1903), A Gay Charmer: A Story for Girls (1903), By Mutual Consent (1903), The Adventures of Miranda (1904), The Beauforts (1904), Castle Poverty (1904), At The Back of the World (1904), Bride of Tomorrow (1904), His Mascot (1905), A Bevy of Girls (1905), Bess of Delaney's (1905), Dumps: A Plain Girl (1905), The Colonel and the Boy (1906), A Golden Shadow (1906), The Face of Juliet (1906), The Girl and Her Fortune (1906), The Colonel’s Conquest (1907), The Chateau of Mystery (1907), A Girl from America (1907), The Curse of the Feverals (1907), The Court Harman Girls (1908), The Courtship of Sybil (1908), The Aim of Her Life (1908), Blue of the Sea (1909), Brother or Husband (1909), Alwyn’s Friends (1909), The Fountain of Beauty (1909), Belinda Treherne (1910), A Girl of Today (1910), The A. B. C. Girl (1910), Desborough’s Wife (1911), The Doctor’s Children (1911), The Girl from Spain (1911), A Bunch of Cousins and the Barn Boys (1911), Corporal Violet (1912), The Chesterton Girl Graduates: A Story for Girls (1913), Elizabeth’s Prisoner (1914), A Band of Mirth (1914), The Darling of the School (1915), The Daughter of a Soldier: A Colleen of South Ireland (1915), Better Than Riches (1917), Daughters of Today (1917), The Fairy Godmother (1917), and many more

Thursday, March 10, 2011

David the King by Gladys Schmitt Best-Seller Old Testament Novel

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Title:  David the King

Author:  Gladys Schmitt

Illustrator:  Cathal O'Toole (engravings)

Storyline:  The novelization of Old Testament great King David's life was kind of a big deal back in 1946, when already successful first time novelist, Gladys Schmitt, released her second book. Her version of David's story was translated into ten languages, and became a million seller as the main selection of the month for the Literary Guild and the Religious Book Club that year.

As was typical of early 20th Century American commercial literature that might be favored by, or marketed to women, the book was damned with faint praise or outright panned by the critics, but pleased readers with its dramatic and romantic retelling of Biblical events. It is pretty amusing to see Time Magazine's reviewer accuse her (or any author) of being middle brow.

Bad reviews from the literary establishment are not a problem for womens' books fans. David the King passed the word-of-mouth test between readers. Critics didn't cotton to the book's descriptions of maidens with heaving breasts and men clad in nothing but loin cloths, but Gladys Schmitt's audience loved the re-working of this well-known story; one of the tales that made the Bible a best seller!    

Copyright: 1946

Publisher: Dial Press

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 631SKU: G11-29

Author Biography:

Schmitt, Gladys. (b.1909-d.1972) was a lifelong native of Pittsburgh, PA.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1932 and went on to work as an editor of Scholastic Magazine in both New York and Pittsburgh before taking an academic position at Carnegie Mellon Institute.  At Carnegie Mellon, she distinguished herself by founding the creative writing there. (Ref: Wiki, Time, Commentary)

Works Include: The Gates of Aulis (1942), David the King (1946, reprinted, 1973), Alexandra (1947), Confessors of the Name (1952), The Persistent Image (1955), A Small Fire (1957), Rembrandt (1961), The Heroic Deeds of Beowulf, Retold (juvenile) (1962), Electra (1965), Boris, the Lopsided Bear (juvenile) (1966), The Godforgotten (1972), Sonnets for an Analyst (1973)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Do Women Really Want? It's All There in Popular Romance Novels

It is impossible to ignore the volume of romance novels published every year. They make up almost half of all hard-copy books printed, and are re-issued in over 25 languages. Grand Damme of the romance writing industry, Danielle Steel, has her name on an incredible 100 million copies.

So what is it about these stories that so captivate their readers? Most obviously, the books are about women. Our dusty English literary cannon is the domain of male protagonists. If a girl wants to read about other girls, then look no further than the romance shelf in the drug store or at Barnes and Noble. Even so-called feminist novels can't satisfy us. Like regular novels, what happens to women in them is often depressing. Not exactly a wonderful way to escape day to day doldrums.

Which brings up another important point - romance novels don't disappoint. Especially with love. The girl gets her guy in the end. Granted she will have to solve some problems on the way, like clearing up the inevitable relationship misunderstandings, kick the current BF to the curb, or straightening out her prince before she disappears into the sunset with him. But half the fun of the story is seeing her get there.

The women in the stories also have it going on. They travel to exotic places and have adventures. They work at interesting jobs while they're waiting for "Mr. Right." Often the love of their lives will be in the well-to-do or leisure class, which will liberate our heroine from drudgery or economic woes forever!

Last, but not least, the men in the stories are wonderful. They're hunky, and they aren't out for just one thing. Romance and sex are not fraught with danger and nasty transmittable diseases. In short, the guys are interesting, and not the dull heteros we typically encounter in real life.

When we bury our noses in those pages, everyone knows to stay clear. We are in the zone (even if we're reading on the subway), and doing something just for ourselves. Occasionally, we may even trade reviews with a fellow reader from the romance novel fan community. If we see someone with a cover we recognize, there is an instant bond, and we say something like, "That was a really good one" or "If you like X, you should definitely read Y!"

(Reference) Busting Textual Bodices: Gender, Reading, and the Popular Romance. Carol Ricker-Wilson. The English Journal. Vol. 88, No. 3, Jan., 1999.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul by Pearl S. Buck 1936 Biography 1st Ed

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Title: Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul

Author: Pearl S. Buck

Storyline: A vigorous biography of the author's father, a lonely adventurer ranging the turbulent interior of old China through the hazards of famine, banditry, and revolution. Buck portrays an austere and stern father, Andrew, who holds an unshakable faith of his convictions in his untiring work as a missionary in China. This is a companion volume to the biography of her mother, The Exile, and is written with the beauty and charm that characterizes her work.

Copyright: 1936

Published: 1936 (First Edition)

Publisher: John Day, in association with Reynal & Hitchcock, New York

Format: Reddish-brown cloth-bound hardcover with embossed design on front and spine, gilt lettering on spine

Page Count: 302