Uncollected Pieces for Young Readers
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Katy's Birthday

by Sara O. Jewett,


Other Stories by Famous Authors

Though the bare title may suggest that this book was another of Sarah Orne Jewett's collections of stories for young readers, like Play Days (1878), in fact, Jewett provides only the title story, while the remaining stories are by other authors.  These stories, except perhaps for "One Man Band," had appeared previously in the children's magazine, Wide Awake, a publication of D. Lothrop and Company of Boston. 

Contents of Katy's Birthday

"Katy's Birthday" by Sara Orne Jewett
    Wide Awake 17 June 1883) 36-40.

    Jewett's first name has been shortened to Sara throughout this book, though in the original publication of the story in Wide Awake, she was listed as Sarah Orne Jewett.  However in the contents for the Wide Awake publication, the story's title was altered to "Kitty's Birthday."
    That Jewett's name is incorrect in the book suggests that Jewett had little or nothing to do with this reprinting.  But that an embarrassing editing error in the sixth paragraph from the end was remedied between the Wide Awake and Katy's Birthday appearance of the story suggests that she had some correspondence with the editors about this error.  Jewett wrote to the story's illustrator, Jesse McDermott on 23 May, 1883:

     "I have looked at the picture which you drew for my little story in the June Wide Awake with so much pleasure that I wish to thank you. I think it is charmingly done, and the doleful little girl in the chair is so like Katy whom I 'made up,' that it seems quite wonderful.
     "Yours is really a most careful and satisfactory piece of work, but I wish I could say the same of my sketch which somehow missed being read in the proof, and which ought to have been revised by its guilty writer ...." (Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, 50).

"The Hope Works" by Susan Hale
            Wide Awake 15 (October 1882) 203-205.

"How Jacky Went to Church on Easter" by Elizabeth Barnett Hill
            Wide Awake 14 (April 1882) 205-207.

 "The Story of Maple Sugar" by Rowland E. Robinson
            Wide Awake 14 (March 1882) 160-163.

 "The One Man Band" by M. E. P.
            As with Jewett's name, these author initials may be in error.  M. E. B. was a frequent contributor to Wide Awake.  It is possible that M. E. B. also is Mrs. M. E. Blake and Mary Elizabeth McGrath Blake (1840 - 1907).  I have failed to locate a previous publication of this story, though there is a later anonymous reprint in The Children's Hour for Boys & Girls (Boston: D. Lothrop & Co, 1889, 21-24).

"The Firm of Punkapog and Boss"  by Kate Gannet Wells
            Wide Awake 14 (April 1882) 239-242

 "The Basket Business" by Mrs. S. D. Powers
            Wide Awake (October 1883) 308-312.
            This author's name can produce confusion, not only because it is not spelled correctly in the contents.  Mrs. S. D. Power, also published under the name of Susan Power, and this story appeared in Wide Awake under the latter name.

 "The Queenclover Chronicles" by John Brownjohn
            This is a two part selection, containing
            I. Miss Marrowphatís Maltee, (ss) Wide Awake (August 1880)  130-134;
            II. Accordingly Higglety Pigglety Hic Haec Hoc, (ss) Wide Awake (September 1880) 191-195.

             I am unable to locate these issues on-line; hence I do not have the volume numbers or links.  The information here comes from The FictionMags Index, a very helpful source for 19th-century publications research.

 "A Case of Coincidence" by Rose Terry Cooke
            Wide Awake 16 (December 1882) 15-19.

"The Apothecary's Valentine" by H. B. B. W.
            Wide Awake 16 ( February 1883) 228-229.

 "Mr. Tennyson's Fairies" by Joaquin Miller
            Wide Awake 16 ( May 1883) 395-396.


D. Lothrop and Company

D. Lothrop and Company published a very large number of titles during the nineteenth century, including magazines and books, such as this one, marketed for children.  Daniel Lothrop (1831- 1892) was the ambitious founder and director of his publishing company, who, with some difficulty, established a children's literature market by offering popular magazines and books.  

 The Peace Island Series

I have been able to locate little information about the Peace Island Series, of which Katy's Birthday is one of six illustrated volumes.  The series takes its title from the volume featuring Eliot McCormick's contribution, "Peace Island."  This story has been retitled from McCormick's "The Isle of Peace," a Christmas story that appeared in Wide Awake 16 (December 1882) 20-25.   This, along with the publication date of sometime after May of 1883, suggests that the series was offered as a set for the Christmas market in 1883.

 Peace Island Series
6 vols, 32mo, cloth $4.50.  Six to ten full-page illustrations in each volume.
Publisher:  Boston: D. Lothrop and Co., ©1883.

 Titles in the Series

Joe Lambert's Ferry.  With other stories of the frontier and early settlers. George Cary Eggleston

Dolly's kettledrum.  With other stories for girls. Nora Perry

Nelly's heroics.  With other Heroic stories.  Harriet Beecher Stowe

Lost in Pompeii.  With other stories of adventure. Henry Howard Clark

Peace Island.  With other stories for Boys.  Eliot McCormick; D. Lothrop & Company.

Katy's Birthday.  With other stories by famous authors. Sara Orne Jewett


Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College

Uncollected Pieces for Young Readers
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