Early Republic American edition of John Bunyan's classic work, an unusually intact copy of a cheaply produced work.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
"Nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in my way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden."
Book publishing in the early US was, from the outset, an exercise in economy and pragmatism. The cost of importing materials from England or Europe was high, but the infrastructure to produce those materials domestically was still developing, so workarounds and substitutions abounded. One such example is the use of scaleboard in bookbinding, "a cheap alternative in place of expensive pasteboard that had to be imported" (Miller, 7). This copy of THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, printed in tree-rich Vermont, features boards made of scaleboard, which Julia Miller observes "was a practical choice because of the local availability and the low cost of the wood" (108). An interesting example of US American book production ingenuity.
Read more: Julia Miller, Books Will Speak Plain; Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, American Bibliography, item 34254.
Brattleborough, VT: John Holbrook, 1815. Full title: The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which is to Come. Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream. 12mo. 6.5'' x 4''. Contemporary full brown speckled sheep with gilt lettering and ruling to spine. Edges speckled green. 312 pages, collated complete. Mostly erased owner names to second blank, title page, and first page. Binding with rubbing to boards and extremities; tiny places of loss to edges of rear board. Leaves with occasional chipping to margins, some foxing and toning. Sound overall.
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