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Pictorial Handbill for The Female Volunteer, in German & English

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47.     [BILLINGS, Eliza Allen (attributed)]. Just Published. The Female Volunteer; Or, The Most Strange, Wonderful, and Thrilling Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Eliza Allen, A Young Lady of Eastport Maine. [Verso] So eben erschienen! Der weibliche Freivillige; oder fremdartigste, wunderbare und schauerliche Erzählung des Lebens und der Abenteuer der Elisa Allen, eines jungen Frauenzimmers aus Eastport, Maine. [Cincinnati: H.M. Rulinson, 1851]. Illustrated handbill on wove, white paper: 29.7 x 23.5 cm. English on one side and German on the other, both illustrated with the large woodcut of Allen that appeared in the book, leaving little doubt that this was distributed by the same publisher. No German-language edition of this book has been located, however. Very fine.

     This is an advertising handbill distributed on the fly to promote sales of The Female Volunteer (see Item 46 preceding). As the text makes clear, these promotionals were distributed house to house and then followed up by agents with the books: “Please preserve this circular until called for. The Agents never call but once; and persons wishing to purchase will please have change ready when the Agent calls, which will be in about an hour” (original emphasis). Price in the English version is 20¢ and 18-3/4¢ in the German. A very rare survival that offers documentation on nineteenth-century book-selling practices.



Auction 22 Abstracts

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