The FolkLore of the Old Plantation. With Illustrations by Frederick S. Church and James H. Moser. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881. 8 pp undated ads. Original light blue cloth pictorially decorated in black and gilt.
First Edition of Joel Chandler Harris's first and most beloved book, featuring Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear (with occasional appearances by Brer Terrapin). In addition to 34 such "Legends of the Old Plantation" (including "The Tar-Baby"), the volume includes "Plantation Proverbs" plus Uncle Remus's "Songs" and "Sayings." At the time he wrote these, Harris (who was white) was on the staff of the Atlanta Constitution -- in which newspaper the tales had first begun appearing in 1879.
These works were among the first, and remain the greatest, in the school of Negro folk literature. Uncle Remus is both typical and strongly individual, and his tales, based on native legends, are told with a simple humor and authentic dialect that is in perfect harmony with the thing said and the way of saying it" [OCAL].
"Negro folk literature" or not, Harris's tales are today rather politically incorrect, as he portrays the life of a slave as hard but rewarding and enjoyable.
This copy is in the first of the three states, with "presumptive" (later changed to the correct "presumptuous") in the last line of page 9. The cloth color is light blue (one of numerous colors used without priority). Condition is very good -- minor wear at the spine ends, a few small splash-marks on the rear cover, fore-corners bumped, spine darkened as usual with this color, small marginal mark on the corner of the first leaves; still, the cover gilt remains quite bright, and the original patterned endpapers remain intact. Blanck 7100. Item #14427