Special cloth-bound edition, the first hardcover edition, of this sensation novel by one of the most popular women writers of dime novels, who specialized in romances and dramas for working-class girls and women.
Near fine in good jacket.
A FORBIDDEN MARRIAGE
"Owing to the repeated demand for the Laura Jean Libbey books in a permanent library form, we have just issued her twenty best novels in cloth binding."
In this novel, Libbey outlines the dangers of passion without restraint, in which the consequences for a woman can literally be death. Libbey is well known for her romances, and while this book has many elements of a popular romance, it is better classed as a sensation novel because it lacks a happy ending.
This copy is exceptional for retaining its original printed dust jacket. The ad on the rear panel notes that over 2 million copies of Libbey's books have been sold – those in the proto-paperback, dime novel format for Libbey's target audience: working-class girls and women. That text is also printed within the ads at the rear of the book, but the front panel contains content not found elsewhere. A long paragraph valorizing Libbey and her books, it reads in part: "Wholesome throughout, they are intended to depict only the good and true in life. Miss Libbey believes that woman's happiest time is when she is cherishing the unstudied dream of a noble lover, loyal and brave, with a chivalrous reverence for true womanhood." The title page lists a copyright by Libbey in 1888; however, contemporary advertisements place this series's publication around 1912.
Read more: Nan Enstad, Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century; Lori Merish, Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States.
New York: J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, [circa 1912]. 7.25'' x 5''. Original green cloth stamped in darker green with rectangular pictorial paste-on of a young sitting by a river. In original printed dust jacket. , 212,  pages. Erased pencil name on front endpaper; woman's bookplate on front pastedown (and partially overlapping onto jacket front flap). Jacket with several large chips at spine ends (somewhat affecting publisher name at foot) and on front panel (affecting the first few letters of Libbey's name and touching "A" in the title); otherwise a few closed tears and one abrasion affecting a small part of the title on the front panel.
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