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The Boat Club or, The Bunkers of Rippleton   By: (1822-1897)

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First Page:

[Illustration: THE BOAT CLUB OLIVER OPTIC]

[Illustration: Tim seized an Oar. P. 217.]

THE BOAT CLUB OR THE BUNKERS OF RIPPLETON

By

OLIVER OPTIC

NEW EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED

NEW YORK THE MERSHON COMPANY PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1896, By LEE AND SHEPARD

IN MEMORY OF MY NEPHEW , WILLIAM PARKER JEWETT Who Died January 4, 1884, TO WHOM This Book WAS ORIGINALLY DEDICATED

AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION

"THE BOAT CLUB" was written and published more than forty years ago, and was the first juvenile book the author had ever presented to the public. Young people who read it at the age of eighteen have now reached threescore, and those who read it at ten have passed their half century of life. The electrotype plates from which it has been printed for more than a generation of human life have suffered so much from severe wear that new ones have become necessary, and they must be replaced. This condition affords the author the opportunity to revise the work, in fact, to make a new book of it; and the old boat must be reconstructed and launched again. The author has something to say on what suggests itself as a memorial occasion when something historical may be said. First, it is proper that old things should be respected and honored, and therefore is presented the

ORIGINAL PREFACE

OF "THE BOAT CLUB."

The author of the following story pleads guilty of being more than half a boy himself; and in writing a book to meet the wants and the tastes of "Young America," he has had no difficulty in stepping back over the weary waste of years that separates youth from maturity, and entering fully into the spirit of the scenes he describes. He has endeavored to combine healthy moral lessons with a sufficient amount of exciting interest to render the story attractive to the young; and he hopes he has not mingled these elements of a good juvenile book in disproportionate quantities.

Thus was laid the foundation of the writer's life work for young people, after an initiation of over twenty years as a teacher in the schools of Boston, in all grades from usher to principal. Even then he had not the remotest idea of becoming an author; he never definitely prepared himself for such a profession; and, as he has often stated it, he "blundered into the business of writing books for the young," though he had had considerable experience in story writing for magazines and newspapers.

This beginning has been followed by ninety six volumes in sets of six volumes or more, and two others, the whole of the ninety eight books being for young people. To these may be added the number of bound yearly volumes of magazines for juveniles of which the writer has been the editor for thirty two years, making one hundred and thirty volumes of this kind, besides half a dozen or more for adults, to say nothing of nine hundred stories, long and short, for periodicals. This is the literary record of the author in the seventy fifth year of his age; and being still in fair physical condition, it is possible that more may be added to the number.

This is an introduction to the republication of "The Boat Club," and this book suggested what has been written so far. It occurs to me that some venerable person who read the book in childhood may have a desire to know how it happened to be written, and possibly some others may wish to know something of the motives which have animated the writer for the long term in which he has been engaged in producing books for juvenile readers. In a speech made by the author in 1875, at the dedication of a branch of the Boston Public Library in Dorchester, which had become a part of the city, the desire of the venerable personage and the wishes of the other inquirers were fully answered; and perhaps they cannot be better satisfied than in reading a portion of this address, given after the writer had been introduced by the Mayor of Boston:

Though not to the manner born, Mr... Continue reading book >>




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