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Elinor Wyllys, Volume 1   By: (1813-1894)

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{This e text was prepared from the first edition of Susan Fenimore Cooper's "Elinor Wyllys: or, The Young Folk of Longbridge" (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846). "Elinor Wyllys" was also published in England (London: Richard Bentley, 1845), but has otherwise not been reprinted.

{Text and note are by Hugh C. MacDougall ( Notes are enclosed in curly brackets { }; these include identification of epigraphs and other quotations and allusions, explanations of obsolete word usage, and translations of foreign words and expressions. Quotations from Shakespeare are cited to the Riverside Edition (adopted as standard for the MLA approved Cooper Edition of the works of James Fenimore Cooper). Spelling and punctuation, including the author's idiosyncratic use of colons and semi colons, inconsistent use of single quotation marks for "thoughts," and combinations of dashes with other punctuation, have not been changed (except for occasional silent insertion of missing quotation marks). First instances of some unusual spellings (whether or not in accordance with the author's usual practise), and obvious typographical errors, are followed by {sic} to indicate that there has not been a mistake in transcription. Because of the limitations of the .TXT format, italicized foreign words (mostly French) are transcribed in ordinary type, and accents are omitted; words italicized for emphasis, or to emulate dialect or incorrect pronunciation, are transcribed as capitals.}



{Pseudonym of Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813 1894), daughter of James Fenimore Cooper (1789 1851)}

"Familiar matter of today; Some natural sorrow, loss or pain, That has been, and may be again." WORDSWORTH

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770 1850), "The Solitary Reaper" lines 22 24}




THERE is so much of mystification resorted to, at the present time, in the publication of books, that it has become proper that the editor of Elinor Wyllys should explain what has been his own connection with this particular work.

The writer of this book is a valued female friend, who had a right to ask, and did ask, its editor's advice and assistance, in presenting it to the public. This advice and assistance have been cheerfully afforded, though neither has properly extended to the literary character of the work. As the author has not wished to appear, the name of the editor has been used in obtaining the copy right, and his assistance given in forwarding and returning proof sheets. Over a few of the last, the editor has cast an eye; but, believing the author of the book to be fully competent herself, to superintend her own work, as it has gone through the press, this supervision on the part of the editor has been very slight.

The editor has great confidence in the principles, taste, and intelligence of the real author of Elinor Wyllys. She has seen much of that portion of the world with which a lady becomes acquainted, and has seen that much under the most favorable circumstances. As usually happens in such cases, her book will be found free from exaggerations of every sort; and will be more likely to be well received by persons of her own class, than by those who are less familiar with its advantages. Imagination, feeling, sound principles, and good taste, are all to be found in this book, though in what degree, the public will necessarily decide for itself.


Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1845.


IT will be well, perhaps, that the reader bear in mind, while running over the following pages, that many passing observations, many trifles, which naturally find their way into any sketch of social life, refer chiefly to things and notions in favour some ten years since; a period which is certainly not beyond the memory of man, but very possibly beyond the clear recollection of some young lady reader, just within her teens... Continue reading book >>

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