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Children's Book with Paper Dolls

The History and Adventures of Little Eliza. Philadelphia: William Charles, 1811.

The History and Adventures of Little Eliza This imprint is among the earliest American editions of a book first printed in London accompanied by a set of paper dolls. The celebrated Philadelphia engraver and publisher William Charles integrated the images with the text as a picture book, complete with his subtle background clues.

Eliza is a smart but disobedient little girl who runs away from home. She ultimately hits bottom as a street beggar before she is re-united with her parents. Here we see Eliza before her travail, reading a book. She is a well-dressed little girl surrounded by potted plants, alluding to her pampered and sheltered existence.

Purchased from Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co. Ruth E. Adomeit Book Fund.

--Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Childrens' Literature

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C.C. Baldwin "One day I am visited by a collector of ordination sermons; the next, by a collector of 4th of July orations; then comes a collector of geography; another wants religious newspapers; another wants every book printed in New York before 1700. I accommodate myself to all; for I want every thing and collect every thing, and I have more zeal than the whole of them: and in this way I am kept very busy."
~Christopher Columbus Baldwin
 3rd Librarian of AAS