Hall, James, ed. The Western Reader; a Series of Useful Lessons, Designed to Succeed. Cincinnati (OH): Corey, Fairbank, 1833. 16mo, half-leather with printed paper board, 216pp. Rare early edition. Includes the description from an early book catalog (presumably from whom the consignor purchased the volume). No seller information, but the buyer penciled in "1960" by the price. That bookseller had an extensive description:
With a mother who was a talented Philadelphia literateur; a brother who published THE PORTFOLIO, and another brother who edited it; although Hall succeeded in establishing himself as an attorney in the Ohio country; it is not surprising that he became intent upon fostering and making substantial contributions to an Ohio valley literature.
Proudly proclaiming that it was "purely American and chiefly composed of the productions of western writers," he launched his WESTERN READER. Among those western writers were AUDUBON, BEECHER, DANIEL AND BENJAMIN DRAKE, MORGAN NEVILLE, JOHN B. DILLON, OTWAY CURRY, H.M. BRACKENRIDGE, et al; to say nothing of several extracts from Long's First Expedition. Alas! He reckoned without a most important intangible; - that deep-seated literary snobbery with which western readers were afflicted, and which was to send the Cary sisters, William Dean Howells, and many another brilliant writer to the east in search of encouragement and support. Contrawise, McGuffey lifted his texts from eastern publications, and though prosecuted for infringement of copyrights; he was dealing with backwoodsmen, and his work succeeded where Hall's failed. -- Anon. (if anyone knows the author, we will gladly credit them)
Provenance:Property from the Collection of Jane D. Diehl, Cincinnati, OH
Spine gone, original covers nearly separated, but present. Lower right corner of tp missing, as are free endpapers. Other than frontmatter, main textblock is fine, with minor corner wear, and scattered foxing. Severely "crunched" bottom corners last 40 pages, etc. Defective example of a scarce book. Currently in modern clamshell box.
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