leedle yawcob strauss and other poems
this is probably the strangest book i have ever come across! the entire book is written in dialect (the only other early american books i've come across in dialect are slave narratives)...a german-american (pennsylvania german) "accent" is illustrated in the words, for example:
"Haf you seen mine leedle Shonny, Shonny Schwartz, Mit his hair so soft und yellow, und his face so blump und mellow: Sooch a funny leedle fellow, Shonny Schwartz?"
the book is comprised of poems of this sort. all of the works are by charles follen adams who was apparently a writer of short columns in scribner's and the detroit free press. i had no idea that these poems in dialect were de rigueur at one point in time. i think they are meant to be humorous, but i have to say i find them a bit offensive.
the illustrations by "boz", a pseudonym for george cruikshank, are incredibly well done, although quite a few of them depict the racial stereotypes of the time that are not only inappropriate for the current day, but are also a bit awkward to share here. i chose to include them to show that once in a while, these images pop up in the most unexpected places and they are indeed, historically, a part of american literary culture.
i found this book in a grab bag of children's books, and although i find it interesting and would never have sought it ought, i am glad to have it.
oh, it's electrotyped!!
leedle yawcob strauss, and other poems by charles f. adams
first edition, 1878, lee and shepard publishers, boston
illustrated by "boz"