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Alcott, Louisa May, contributor) Dodge, Mary Mapes, ed.

St. Nicholas.


[Alcott, Louisa May] Dodge, Mary Mapes, editor. St. Nicholas. An illustrated magazine for young folks. Vol. XI, Part II (May 1884 - October 1884). New York: The Century Company, 1884.
4to.; ownership signature on front endpaper reads, "Edith Williams. Groton, New York"; a few closed tears and stains; upper gutter cracked; brown and red marbled boards; ¾ morocco; stamped in gilt; extremities worn.
Six issues, from May to October 1884, bound together of St. Nicholas magazine, which, while under the editorship of Mary Mapes Dodge, was the most popular children's magazine in America.  Created by Roswell Smith in the early 1870's, St. Nicholas first appeared in print in November of 1873 with Dodge at the helm.  Instantly successful and constantly growing in circulation, Dodge had high standards for her contributors and was able to attract famous authors to write stories for the magazine, such as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott and Rudyard Kipling. The magazine also featured a section for young writers to submit entries for prizes and publication of their stories, some of them - Eudora Welty and William Faulkner, to name the two most prominent - grew to have significant literary careers. Not only did the stories arouse children's imaginations, but the vivid illustrations by Frederic Remington and Maxfield Parrish were enticing to young minds. Dodge's winning formula for children's literature and magazines was rooted in the idea that they had to have "freshness and heartiness, life and joy," and the content and focus had to be completely different than that of adult publications.
Dodge, born in New York City and educated by tutors in her home, had early editorial experience when she worked for a magazine, the Working Farmer,  founded by her father. Her rise to literary fame started with the most practical of ambitions, to bring in money for her and her two young children after the death of her husband, when she was 28 years old. She wrote magazine articles and children's stories, of which the most well-known was Hans Brinker: or, the Silver Skates, which went through over 100 editions. Dodge evolved into an expert on children's literature, becoming the editor of St. Nicholas at its conception and remaining in that position until her death in 1905. Sadly for the legions of American children who grew up reading it, the magazine folded in 1939.  
Alcott contributed seven stories to St. Nicholas Magazine between May and October, 1884; "The Banner of Beaumanoir," Corny's Catamount," "Daisy's Jewel-Box, and How She Filled It," "Jerseys; Or, The Girl's Ghost," "The Little House in the Garden," "Little Things" and "Spinning-Wheel Stories."  

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