AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2011 Issue

Children's and Illustrated Books from Aleph-Bet

Suffergets

The Ten Little Suffergets.

Here is another children's work with a message, and a biting one at that. Published circa 1918, the title is Ten Little Suffergets. Following the format of the traditional counting rhyme, the unnamed author pokes fun at the “suffergets,” cherubic little girls who represent the woman's suffrage movement. By the end, of course, “And then there is none,” but the “suffergets” would have the last laugh when women obtained the right to vote three years later. Item 221. $1,950.

Item 142 is the first American edition of the classic puppet-boy tale of Pinocchio. Carlo Collodi's story was first released in America under the familiar-sounding title Pinocchio's Adventures in Wonderland. There is a story or two behind this title. Collodi did not know from Wonderland, but his American publishers wanted to parlay the enormous success of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, hence the copied title. Or there may have been another reason. Originally set to be published in 1892, this first American translated edition never made it to the press, its publisher gone bankrupt. Six years later, Jordan-Marsh, the large Boston department store with its own publishing division, released the tale. However, they gave no credit to either Collodi or the illustrator, naming only Hezekiah Butterworth, who wrote a brief introduction, and themselves. Nevertheless, this was essentially the earlier translation, not a different book, though perhaps Jordan Marsh wished to disguise their literary theft. Jordan Marsh would get their comeuppance a century later when the firm went out of business, taken over by Macy's. $475.

Jordan Marsh wasn't the only company to attempt to make Pinocchio its own. From 1940 onward, most Americans would come to associate Pinocchio with Walt Disney more than Carlo Collodi. Disney's version was less complex and “safer” for children in terms of insulating them from the issues of the real world Collodi saw. Disney's Pinocchio would be very popular, first as a book, and then as a film. Item 169 is Walt Disney's Pinocchio, published in 1939. $350.

Aleph-Bet Books may be reached at 914-764-7410 or Helen@alephbet.com. Their website is found at www.alephbet.com.

AE Monthly


Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions