New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1876.
Hardcover. The Catskill Fairies opens upon the lonely Job, a twelve-year-old boy, who finds himself all alone in his grandfather's cabin nestled in the snowy Catskills mountains on Christmas Eve when he discovers that his grandfather clock, a seashell, and Job's own Angora cat are bewitched and begin to speak, telling him a series of ever more enchanting stories leading up to Christmas morning. Stories include that of the great variety of fairies that spin children's dreams out of special thread on spinning-wheels, that of Rapp, the Gnome King who gives a Native American girl flying mocassins, and a magician who presides over the "fairy regatta," a boating race captained by fairies in an underground cavern, and many others. Penned by Virginia Wales Johnson (1849-1916), this charming Christmas tale from 1876 is full of fairies, gnomes, elves, sprites, and magic on every page, including a frontispiece, six tissue-guarded engraved illustrations, and generous and fantastical vignettes by the artist Alfred Fredericks (1853-1926).
9 1/8" X 6 3/4". 163pp, plus 4pp ads. Pine green cloth over bevelled boards, with upper board stamped elaborately in gilt with a host of fairies, a grandfather clock, and a Catskill vignette, stylized title in gilt to upper board and spine, and rear board stamped in blind. All edges gilt. Moderate wear to binding, with corners turned in, rubbing to extremities, and spots of soiling, possibly inkstains, to boards. Front hinge tender, with tear to gutter of endpapers. Binding is firm and sound. Occasional foxing and toning to pages throughout, else unmarked.
"Mrs. Johnson tells her stories so prettily, vivified by pictures claiming to be drawn from life, that you might be beguiled into believing that there actually are fairies up the North River somewhere."--The Methodist Quarterly Review, 1876. Good +. Item #6283