How to bid on first edition of 'Five Little Peppers and How They Grew' at AK Smiley Public Library – Redlands Daily Facts

Two children’s first editions and a story about a legendary dragon-slayer are up for bids in this week’s Professor Parsons’ Picks silent auction sponsored by the Friends of A.K. Smiley Public Library.

They are “The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims Retold for Children” by Katharine Lee Bates, “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” by Margaret Sidney and “The Story of Siegfried” by James Baldwin.

Also in the auction are “Oil for the Lamps of China” by Alice Tisdale Hobart, a novel set in China during the Nationalist Revolution; “Picasso: A Study of His Work and! a Biographical Study by Robert Maillard” by Frank Elgar, an illustrated interpretation of Picasso’s works; and “The Rise of American Civilization” by Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, a history of the forces that impacted America’s development.

Books and bid sheets are in the silent auction area on the main level of the A.K. Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St., Redlands.

The auction closes at 1 p.m. Aug. 15.

Sales support book purchases and programs of the A.K. Smiley Public Library.

For a complete list of items up for bid and other information, go to

www.aksmileybookstore.com/auctions.

‘The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims Retold for Children’

The Story of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims Retold for Children” by Katharine Lee Bates was published in 1909. It is a young reader’s introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” (1478).

In the preface Bates writes, “What follows is not Chaucer’s text nor a literary rendering of it. It is the story of the immortal pilgrimage told through selected portions, cast into modern English.” Versions of “The Canterbury Tales” by three other writers, John Dryden, William Wordsworth and Leigh Hunt, served as source material for Bates.

There are woodcut illustrations by Angus MacDonall (1876-1927) throughout the book.

Bates is best known for combining a melody by Samuel A. Ward with her poem “Pike’s Peak” (1895) to create the song “America the Beautiful.” She wrote a number of poetry and travel books and, using the pseudonym James Lincoln, pro-Republican political tracts.

MacDonall was a popular American illustrator often featured in Harper’s, Scribner’s, Ladies’ Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post.

The copy up for bids is a first edition in excellent condition. A sliver of paper is missing from the fold-out illustration.

Estimated value is $15. Minimum bid is $5.

‘Five Little Peppers and How They Grew’

“Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” by Margaret Sidney (1844-1924) was published in 1880 by D. Lothrop and Co., Boston. The copy up for bids is a first edition and thought to be one of the few still in existence.

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In the story, the widowed Mrs. Pepper struggles to keep her children healthy and educated. Ben, the oldest, is a frustrated scholar who sacrifices his ambitions to help with his siblings. Polly, the oldest girl, also aspires to attend school but, like Ben, sublimates her desires to help provide for her family. Eventually, the Peppers are taken in by a wealthy benefactor, widower Jasper Horatio King, and his son.

Margaret Sidney is a pseudonym of Harriet Mulford Stone Lothrop. The Pepper family was introduced in short stories she wrote for the children’s magazine Wide Awake. “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” later became the first in a series of 11 books published by the company owned by Lothrop and her husband, Daniel.

The book shows it 137 years. There are several loose pages, a number of stains and aged tape holding parts of the book together. The cover and spine are in fair condition.

Estimated value is $25. Minimum bid is $5.

‘The Story of Siegfried’

“The Story of Siegfried” by James Baldwin (1841-1925) is a retelling of 1000-year-old Norse and German legends of Siegfried, the dragon-slayer. The fair Brunhild, surrounded by a moat of fire, lay sleeping. Siegfried has the ability to become invisible and is enlisted by Gunter to help him win the hand of the lady against a series of obstacles.

Baldwin was born in Indiana where he became an educator. He was a prolific author of children’s books. In addition to the Baldwin Readers (1897), he co-authored the Harper Readers (1888) and the Expressive Readers (1911).

He wrote more than 30 books about famous people in history including, “Abraham Lincoln, a True Life” (1904).

The copy in the auction was illustrated by Howard Pyle (1853-1911) and published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, in 1909. It is bound in brown cloth with an illustrated cover and spine. There is some wear on the spine and pages are yellowed.

Estimated value is $15. Minimum bid is $5.

‘Oil for the Lamps of China’

“Oil for the Lamps of China” by Alice Tisdale Hobart (1882-1967) was published in 1933, becoming a best-seller over the next year. A young oil executive, Stephen Chase, witnesses the transformation of China from 1900 through the Nationalist Revolution of the 1920s. Chase is successful in forging relationships with Chinese citizens and businesses but is ultimately betrayed by his company and the new China that emerges from the revolution.

Hobart became a semi-invalid after a bout of spinal meningitis and a fall at the age of 17. In 1908 she visited Hangchow, China, where her sister Mary taught at a girls’ school. She returned two years later to find her calling as a teacher and novelist.

She married Standard Oil executive Earle Tisdale Hobart in 1914. Their travels throughout China became the basis for articles in the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine, as well as “Oil for the Lamps of China” and a number of other novels.

The auction copy is in good condition.

Minimum bid is $6. Estimated value is $20.

‘Picasso: A Study of His Work and! a Biographical Study by Robert Maillard’

“Picasso: A Study of His Work and! a Biographical Study by Robert Maillard” by Frank Elgar (1899-1978), despite its odd title, guides the reader through each phase of Picasso’s career by interpreting several of his works. The copy up for bids was translated from the French by Francis Scarfe and is a second edition, published in 1957.

Frank Elgar was the pseudonym of Roger Lesbats, a French journalist, editor and art critic who wrote for a number of popular magazines in the 1950s.

Robert Maillard (1924-2011) was a close friend of Picasso. He wrote art-related biographical articles for encyclopedias during the 1950s.

The auction copy is in excellent condition with some slight wear on the jacket.

Estimated value is $20. Minimum bid is $6.

‘The Rise of American Civilization’

“The Rise of American Civilization” by Charles A. (1874-1948) and Mary R. Beard (1876-1958) is a scholarly work meant to explain how history progresses from barbarism towards civilization, not through the actions of a single man but the character of a society.

“The Rise of American Civilization” was originally published in two volumes, “The Agricultural Era” in 1927 and “The Industrial Era” in 1930. The copy up for bids is a one-volume version with a new introduction, published in 1930. Charles A. Beard was one of the most influential American historians of the early 20th century. His 1913 book, “An Economic Interpretation of the United States,” was a landmark work arguing that the nation’s founding fathers were motivated by economics rather than democracy.

Along with his wife, he supported women’s rights.

Mary R. Beard wrote six books on women’s history, the most influential being “Woman as Force in History” (1946). She worked on the effort to pass the 19th Amendment and later the Equal Rights Amendment.

The auction copy is in excellent condition. There are light pencil marks on some pages.

Estimated value is $20. Minimum bid is $6.

Source: Friends of A.K. Smiley Public Library

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