Fanny Fern's Fern Leaves

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Stuff that doesn't need to be on the sidebar of Sara "Fanny Fern" Willis's profile and in the biography text causing doubled-vision.

Digitally colourised version of Coffin's title page:

Colourised version of Fred Coffin's title page for the book "Fern Leaves", with multitudes of ferns, a "rough log" frame, and the words "Fern Leaves from Fanny’s Portfolio.  Second Series." in stylised font.
Title page for "Fern Leaves".


Fern Leaves

    Images from "Fanny Fern's" book "Fern Leaves From Fanny’s Portfolio", created as Original Designs by Fred. M. Coffin.

Fred Coffin's title page for the book "Fern Leaves", with multitudes of ferns, a "rough log" frame, and the words "Fern Leaves from Fanny’s Portfolio.  Second Series." in stylised font.  (Squared down from a rectangle.)
Fern Leaves title page.

A small house sits nestled in the woods, beneath a number of over-hanging trees, and behind a rustic split-log fence.
The Little Brown House.
A woman — stated as Mrs. Adolphus Smith (clearly the "blue stocking") — sits at a table, writing something on a writing desk with a quill pen.  A man stands over her on one side (“Wife! will you leave off scribbling?” ("Don’t be disagreeable, Smith, I’m just getting inspired")), and a woman is standing to the other side.
The Blue Stocking.
A man and his cronies sit around a table drinking . . something.
Mr Stubbs and Friends.
A man - the aged Minister - sits with his head in his hand, apparently in some emotional distress; a writing desk atop the table, with a quill pen in an inkwell to the side.
The Aged Minister.
An overfed, quite corpulent, man sits in a chair berating the girl-woman who is asking for "just a small" raise in her pay, and  giving her a firm negative.
Simon Skinflint.
A group of children, and a couple of adults, is gathered in the street at the corner of a brick building.  One adult, a man, appears to have a hurdy-gurdy, and one of the boys has a hoop.
Our Street.
As Brown comes up the stairs with his rocking-chair, Smith, at the head of his men, descends, with a bureau, from the second floor.  It must have been quite the thing passing each other on those stairs!
May-Day Moving.

Little Ferns

    Images from "Fanny Fern's" book "Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends", created as Original Designs by Fred. M. Coffin.

A little girl sits on a footstool between an armchair and a fireplace.  There is a table in the background with papers and a quill pen in an inkwell upon it.  Where is Little Nelly?  She is not in the garden.  Nelly is not down by the river.  She is not talking with Papa.
Little Nelly
Hatty thought learning was a waste of time and effort, "I am glad it is Saturday; I don't see the use of going to school, and I wish I never had to look into a book again" — until she talked with Bridget, who could neither read, nor write.  "Oh, Mamma!—Bridget and I have been talking, and Bridget—(great big Bridget!)—don't know how to read and write! and she has nobody to love but Pat—and Pat is in Ireland; and when he writes her a letter she can't read it, and she can't answer him, because she don't know how to write; and she hasn't seen Pat since—since he was as little as a butter firkin—and she is so unhappy—and, Mamma, mayn't I have an A-B-C book, and teach Bridget how to read and how to write?"
Hatty's Mistake.
Clara was afraid to steal, (not because God saw her—for she didn't know anything about Him,) but for fear of policemen and prisons—so she wandered about, hour after hour, saying pitifully to the careless crowd, "Only a penny—please give me a penny to buy a loaf of bread!"
Only a Penny
A jolly old gentleman sits in a chair, explaining to the little girls he'd met earlier that he really wasn't a stranger after all.  (Looking back: Uncle Jolly couldn't stand it any longer;—he rushed into the toy shop, bought an armful of play-things helter-skelter, and ran after the two little girls.  "Here, Susy! here, Katy!" said he, "here are some New Year's presents from Uncle Jolly." "Who is Uncle Jolly?" "Well, he's uncle to all the poor little children who have no kind papa.")
Uncle Jolly
A boy and a girl are standing beside a table with tea things upon it.  Suddenly the wicked boy gave Letty's arm a knock, and sent the tray of dishes out of her hand upon the floor.
A strange-looking man with straggly hair is standing on a street, holding the string of a small wooden horse on wheels, and surrounded by boys who appear to be mocking, or taunting him.  Tim wasn't always the crazy figure now seen.  He became this way after finding his beloved daughter, Kitty, had been run down by a train when she had stopped to pick up her spilt huckleberries.  Ever since that day Uncle Tim goes up and down through the road pulling the little wooden horse that Kitty used to play with, in the hope that he will find her.
Crazy Tim.

Other Book Covers

Geometrical design with stylised leaves, and the words "Caper Sauce" and "Fanny Fern".  (Squared down from a rectangle.)
Caper Sauce book cover.
Blue cover with an embossed design, and the words "Fanny Fern".  (Squared down from a rectangle.)
Ruth Hall book cover.
GINGER-SNAPS.  BY FANNY FERN, AUTHOR OF "Fern Leaves,"—"Folly as it Flies," &c. NEW YORK: Carleton, Publisher, Madison Square. LONDON: S. LOW, SON & CO. MDCCCLXX.  (Squared down from a rectangle.)
Ginger Snaps title page.

An Excerpt


    Why will parents use that expression? What right have you to have a favorite child? The All-Father maketh his sun to shine alike upon the daisy and the rose. Where would you be, were His care measured by your merits or deserts? Is your child none the less your child, that nature has denied him a fluent tongue, or forgotten her cunning, when, in careless mood, she fashioned his limbs? Because beauty beams not from the eye, is there no intelligence there? Because the rosy flush mantles not the pale cheek, does the blood never tingle at your coldness or neglect? Because the passive arms are not wound about your neck, has the soul no passionate yearnings for parental love? O, how often does God, more merciful than you, passing by the Josephs of your household, stoop in his pity and touch those quivering lips with a live coal from off the altar? How often does this neglected one, burst from out the chrysalis in which your criminal coldness has enveloped him, and soaring far above your wildest parental imaginings, compel from your ambition, what he could not gain from your love?
    How often does he replenish with liberal hand the coffers which the “favorite child,” in the selfishness which you fostered, has drained of their last fraction. “He that is first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Let parents write this on their heart tablets. Let them remember it when they repulse the little clinging arms, or turn a deaf ear to the childish tale of sorrow. O, gather up those clinging tendrils of affection with gentlest touch; trample them not with the foot of haste or insensibility rudely in the dust.
“And they, in the darkest of days, shall be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee.”

From Rose Clark.

"Weeping! dear Gertrude," exclaimed John, as he entered his sister's studio, and seated himself by her side.
Gertrude laid her head upon his shoulder without replying.
"You do not often see me thus," she said, after a pause. "To-day is the anniversary of my husband's death, and as I sat at the window and saw the autumn wind showering down the bright leaves, I thought of that mournful October day, when, turning despairingly away from his dying moans, I walked to the window of his sick room, and saw the leaves eddying past as they do now. I could almost see again before me that pallid face, almost hear those fleeting, spasmodic breaths, and all the old agony woke up again within me. And yet," said Gertrude, smiling through her tears, "such blissful memories of his love came with it! Oh! surely, John, love like this perishes not with its object—dies not in this world?
"And my little Arthur, too, John—you have never seen my treasures. You have never looked upon the faces which made earth such a paradise for me;" and touching a spring in a rosewood box near her, Gertrude drew from it the pictures of her husband and child, and as John scanned their features in silence, she leaned upon his shoulder, and the bright teardrops fell like rain upon them.

Bluestocking - an explanation

What was, or is, a "Bluestocking"?

A "bluestocking" was (and is) an educated, intellectual woman, although until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes. It has developed negative implications and is now often used in a derogatory manner, as a "put down" to a woman who appears to be more intelligent than her male colleagues. The French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation. The term appears to have its origins in the Blue Stocking society, a group of women who wished for more intellectual discussions than the more "normal" (for their day) social evenings spent playing card games.

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These are wonderful to get to see--thank you! I love old illustrations like this.
posted by Rebecca Rose
I like being able to add such things to profiles, but not have them on the side bar as they appear here. I can only find two books with illustrations, though -- at least freely available in the public domain -- so I've added what I can of those, plus a couple of book covers and a title page.
posted by Melanie Paul