Friday, November 18, 2011

What I might be collecting next...

I got this in the mail today.
It's a 1915 edition of Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross, with the dustjacket.
It's in really great shape, too. There's an inscription inside, but that's all the marking I've found so far.
Okay, there is annoyingly a sticker on the side of the dustjacket that I don't dare remove for fear of ruining the jacket. So I might as well tell you now that the seller I got it from had absolutely no idea what they selling. Their price for it was only $5.
Aunt Jane's Nieces was a series by "Edith Van Dyne." In the Red Cross was the last of the 10 volume series and was re-released in 1918 with a rewritten ending that more accurately depicted the effects of war.

The big secret of Edith Van Dyne was that she wasn't a she. It was, in fact, L. Frank Baum under a pseudonym. Those handy little things allowed Baum to branch out in his writing and write stories that were very different from his Oz books. While the late Jane Merrick's nieces might have found a benefactor in their Uncle John, he wasn't a fairy godfather.These stories were very much set in reality.
I'm now itching to pick up some more of the Aunt Jane's Nieces series as most of the "Edith Van Dyne" books are among the few Baum books I have left to get. (Also The Army Alphabet and The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors.) I have the International Wizard of Oz Club's reprint of the first book in the series, but that's all. The other books have been reprinted as their texts came online as cheaply done (yet bogglingly-priced) print on demand editions, and I haven't felt them to be worth my money. (Until this, I was seriously considering making my own omnibus reprint.)

So, what will I pick up as I attempt to piece together a collection of Edith Van Dyne books? Stay tuned!


Bill Campbell said...

What a great find! I've always enjoyed the Aunt Jane stories, and if you're looking for more, vintage copies (not necessarily firsts) often turn up at reasonable prices.

Of course the price sticker is irritating - but some stickers are far less damaging than others. Have you made any attempt at removal? You might want to very delicately try a corner and see how well adhered it is.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I've had good luck with rubbing alcohol in removing stickers - a quick stroke with an alcohol dampened cotton swab and they peel off. So far I haven't damaged any of the books I've done this with - but then none of them have been collectibles ...

I downloaded all the Aunt Jane's Nieces books to the iPad and am in the midst of reading them.