New York: Harper & Brothers, 1857. A folio volume of the complete first year's issues of this influential periodical of the 19th and early 20th century. It is the first of an annual fascinating weekly publication of articles, serial novels, news, with numerous illustrations documenting the notable events in the United States and around the world. It includes the serialization of British novelists, including Wilkie Collins's "The Dead Secret," and a part of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "What Will He Do With It," with a flattering biography of Bulwer-Lytton at the beginning of the first episode. "The Dead Secret" was published without author attribution but a publisher's note does acknowledge Collins on p. 161 of the June 4 issue. There is also the serialization of a Dickens short story, "The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices." Among other interesting items are a series of articles on travel in Bible lands; an article titled "Scenes in an American Harem, about Brigham Young and his wives; "Homes Exercises" for women; and much material about British India and the rebellion.
The covers of this volume are missing, as is the spine. The first signature is detached, but the remainder of the volume remains intactly bound, albeit not very firmly. Early pages have dampstaining and sporadic foxing. There are several torn pages throughout, one page had been detached and glued in backwards, a cigarette burn on page 175. There is browning to all of the pages, not affecting legibility. Despite the condition issues, this is still an interesting and relatively scarce copy of the debut year of the publication. 828 pages. PER/053123. Good +.