New York: Mason Brothers, . Item #630
8vo. 190 x 135 mm., [7 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches]. 456 pp. Illustrated with 31 wood engraving and extra-illustrated with 11 original pen and ink drawing by the illustrator, Carl Doepler. Contemporary half calf over marbled paper boards; marbled edges; rebacked saving most of the original spine, new leather label. A sound but not very sympathetic restoration. This copy with the ownership signature of the author Austin Abbott.
First edition. Authors' copy, probably specially bound and extra-illustrated with 11 original pen and ink drawings by Carl Doepler, tipped-in opposite the wood engraving which appeared in the text.
The novel was a collaboration of three brothers, all renown for their legal publication and all pillars of New York's legal establishment. Its' theme is temperance and the 31 chapters are a " story of American life. Its scenes lie in American cities and villages, and its moral is an American moral. " It exposes all segments of American society from the "upper circles, to rough country people, to tradefolk, and to many of those lower orders who do labor for their living." According to Appleton, it was written in support of the policy of prohibitory temperance laws.
The artist, Carl Doepler was born in Warsaw and emigrated to the United States in 1849, after the revolutions which took place all over Europe the previous year. He arrived in New York and quickly was employed as an illustrator by Harper & Brothers and Putnam's. He was know for producing "pleasing illustrations." Doepler was the main illustrator for at least ten novels and produced hundreds of images for stories and poems for the numerous magazines published in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. His images were often made into wood engravings by Nathan Orr, who produced the cuts for this novel.
Lyle Wright, American Fiction, II, 257. Sinclair Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, I, 700.