Tuesday, July 30, 2019

War-Time Reading

Green paper cover to Lady Audley's SecretWe have written before about our Confederate imprint of Lady Audley's Secret printed in Mobile, Alabama, in 1864 and bound in wallpaper. We just purchased a great companion piece: a Union counterpart from New York, also printed in the 1860s. Neither would have been authorized by the author, Mary Braddon: the absence of an international copyright law meant they were in the public domain in the United States (and the Confederate States). In both cases, these publishers were trying to feed a popular novel to the public on a budget.

The sensational story (it is a real page turner) excused the poor production standards. These were copies to be devoured--equally so in the North and the South. That they both survived the war and the subsequent years is a minor miracle.

You can take a look at the new addition to the collections by asking for Rare PR4989.M4L2 1860z.

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