DUSTER FOSTER [caption and cover title].

NP: np, nd [but 1889 or 1890]. 16mo (15 cm.). 16 pp. Title page wood engraving (repeated on the front wrapper). Dudley Foster was born in Nova Scotia in 1877 (text gives 1871) and died in 1894. Touted as the smallest man alive, he weighed five pounds at age five; full grown he weighed about 20 pounds and was 30 inches tall. His two sisters, also midgets, known as the "Fairy Sisters," toured New England in 1872-73 and died before Dudley was born. This promotional appears to have been written by his anonymous exhibitor who takes pains to avoid the grotesque and sensational and instead describes a deformed person who is otherwise normal, intelligent, ethical, lovable, charitable, and much else that is admirable. A separate section headed "Dudley's Triumph in Boston," extols his successful appearance in the new Boston vaudeville theatre pioneered by B.F. Keith, suggesting that this may have been a promotional for an extended New England tour. The author says he has "exhibited many small people in a period extending over twenty-five years" and that he had lectured on Dudley in New York in the winter of 1888-89. At the end is a pitch for Dudley's successes in England and Europe; he also appeared in P.T. Barnum's side show. OCLC locates two copies (Massachusetts Historical Society, California State-Long Beach). With wrapper condition noted, a very good copy. Original pictorial gray wrappers (somewhat rubbed and soiled, spine partially split), stapled. (11118). Item #64894

Price: $325.00

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