A Fast Life on the Modern Highway: Being a Glance into the Railroad World from a New Point of View. Joseph Taylor.
A Fast Life on the Modern Highway: Being a Glance into the Railroad World from a New Point of View.
A Fast Life on the Modern Highway: Being a Glance into the Railroad World from a New Point of View.
A Fast Life on the Modern Highway: Being a Glance into the Railroad World from a New Point of View.
Comical Wood Engravings by Charles Stanley Rheinhart and Edwin Abbey

A Fast Life on the Modern Highway: Being a Glance into the Railroad World from a New Point of View.

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1874. Item #631

8vo.  185 x 130 mm., [7 1/4 x 5 inches].  220 pp., plus 8 pp. ads.  Illustrated with Wood engraved frontispiece, nine full-page wood engravings, and numerous engravings in the text.  Bound in green publisher's cloth, front cover decorated with gilt title and image of a fast moving train, spine decorated in gilt.  Binding with some wear at edges and corners, but otherwise a clean and attractive copy.

First edition.  Humerous novel telling the tales of the transformation of American society fostered by the "great railway sytem of America."  Written from the point of view of engineer, the conductor, depot agent, baggage master, signal man and the yardsman, the author conjures the comic in the everyday situations encountered by railway men and their interaction with a curious, awkward and sometimes beligerent public.  There is a hilarious chapter of letters written by applicants for jobs with the railway system.  It appears that this is Josephy Taylor's only published novel.

The full-page wood engravings are signed "C.S.R." and "E. A. Abbey", the initials of the noted American painter and illustrator, Charles Stanley Reinhart and Edwin Abbey, Member of the National Academy and noted illustrated of Shakespeare's works.  They capture the light hearted nature of the text and render the comedy of modern day life.

Lyle Wright, American Fiction, II, 2436.  Sinclair Hamilton, Early American Book Illustration and Wood Engravers, I p. 200, and II, no. 1907.  Mantle Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters,  p. 208.  See William Murrell, History of American Graphic Humor, II, pp. 39, 41, for other references to Reinhart and Abbey's works.

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Price: $200.00