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(SMITH, Elizabeth Oakes). The Newsboy.
New York: J.C. Derby, .... 1854. First edition. 8vo., original light green blind stamped cloth, gilt decoration on the spine, 527pp. Spine slightly faded and a little cocked o/w a near fine copy.
Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith [1806-1893] author, lecturer and reformer born in Maine. Of Puritan descent on her father's side, Elizabeth was influenced by her ‘Universalist and free-thinking maternal grandmother.' An avid reader, she was educated at a private school run by Mrs. Rachel Neal, but was then married off at age sixteen to the thirty-one year old Seba Smith, the editor of the Portland Eastern Argus. While raising five children and managing the household, she became a ‘firm believer in greater opportunity and freedom for women' and began writing poems and short pieces for local periodicals. In 1839 her husband's involvement in an unsuccessful business venture resulted in a relocation to New York city, where Elizabeth embarked on a literary career. An early volume of poems received praise from Poe, and she continued to produce poetry and stories for children. She cam to know Poe, Bryant, Horace Greeley and Margaret Fuller and others. Her involvement in the women's movement led her to write a series on ‘women's rights' for Greeley's New York Tribune, in which she ‘advocated for political emancipation' and argued that ‘women should be free to develop their talents to the fullest.' In 1851 she began to tour giving lectures primarily on the woman questions. Smith contributed to Paulina Wright Davis' feminist journal, ‘Una' and in 1854 she published a woman's rights novel, Bertha and Lily. The above title published in the same year ‘grew from her work with the Young's Men's Christian Union and is said to have stirred a wave of popular indignation over the condition of New York's street waifs.' (Notable American Women. Vol. III).
Wright II: 2257, Sabin 82513.