The Brownies: Their Book

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Author: Cox, Palmer (1840-1924)

Year: 1887

Publisher: The Century Company

Place: New York


xii+144 pages Illustrated throughout. Quarto (10 3/4" x 8 1/2") bound in original pictorial boards in original pictorial jacket in a custom slipcase. First edition, first state, with the De Vinne Press seal immediately below the copyright notice.

The Brownies is a series of publications by Canadian illustrator and author Palmer Cox, based on names and elements from English traditional mythology and Scottish stories told to Cox by his grandmother. Illustrations with verse aimed at children, The Brownies was published in magazines and books during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Not unlike fairies and goblins, Brownies are imaginary little sprites, who are supposed to delight in harmless pranks and helpful deeds. Never allowing themselves to be seen by mortal eyes, they are male, drawn to represent many professions and nationalities, all mischievous members of the fairy world whose principal attribute is helping with chores while a family sleeps. The Brownie characters became famous in their day, and at the peak of their popularity were a pioneering name brand within merchandising. The first appearances of Brownie characters in a print publication took place in 1879, but not until the February, 1881 issue of Wide Awake magazine were the creatures printed in their final form. The first proper story, The Brownies' Ride, appeared in the February 1883 issue of the children's periodical St. Nicholas Magazine. Published in 1899, The Brownies Abroad is considered the first Brownie comic strip, though it didn't utilize speech balloons until the publication The Brownie Clown of Brownie Town of 1908. From 1903, The Brownies appeared as a newspaper Sunday strip for several years. The first compilation, The Brownies, Their Book, was published in 1887, followed by 16 books in the series until the last in 1918.


Rubbing to boards and spine extremities; marginal damp-staining through majority of leaves, ownership inscription. Dust jacket, damp-stained, some wrinkling and creasing, few small chips a better than good copy in scarce like jacket.

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