Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vintage book cover:
"A Cruise in the Sky"

  • Title: A Cruise in the Sky
  • Alternate Title: The Legend of the Great Pink Pearl
  • Series: The Aeroplane Boys Series (#5 out of 8)
  • Author: Harry Lincoln Sayler (1863-1913), writing under the pen name Ashton Lamar
  • Illustrator: S.H. Riesenberg
  • Publisher: The Reilly & Britton Company (Chicago)
  • Original price: 60 cents
  • Year of publication: 1911
  • Pages: 218
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First sentence: All afternoon the train had been following the picturesque shore of the Indian River, in Florida.
  • Unfortunate random sentence from middle: "Tell the great thief Cajou that the white man brings death."
  • Last paragraph: Tearing it open, a narrow strip of blue paper dropped in Andy's hands. It read: "Royal Bank of Nassau. Pay to Andrew Leighton or order £1,000. Monckton Bassett."
  • Notes: The odd cover illustration seems to show a combination of a bird and an airplane. This might refer to the "Bird of Death" that comes into play as part of the book's narrative. ... Author Harry Lincoln Sayler was a newspaperman who wrote several series of juvenile fiction and was an expert on pirates. His other pen names were Elliott Whitney and Gordon Stuart. ... The first page of Chapter I features this cursive gift inscription: "Lee M. Brosius, Xmas 1918 from Mrs. Gast [?]." ... If you are interested in juvenile series about flying airplanes, you might want to read Boys’ Books, Boys’ Dreams, and the Mystique of Flight, a 2006 book by Fred Erisman. Here's an excerpt from the book's description: "In this first comprehensive study of the more than forty boys’ aviation series, Erisman reveals the part played by the books and their writers in spurring the American nation’s fascination with flying. ... [T]he books communicated a steadfast vision of the liberating, exhilarating world that flying offered every boy. More than that, they conveyed as well a glimpse of the better world that would come as air-mindedness and aviation worked their uplifting influence on the larger community."

Check out more aviation-themed vintage covers in this post from two months ago.

1 comment:

  1. The recipient of this book, Lee Mather Brosius, was born in 1908, and thus was ten years old at the time this gift was given to him.

    Despondent due to poor health, Brosius committed suicide in August of 1951. He had been a resident of Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, and had been an attendant at the Danville State Hospital for nearly a quarter century.

    His spirit lives on via ephemera, ironically intended to last for "just a day". †


    -- M.F.