This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1906. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... chiefly to ascertain or verify a simple fact, the man of genius who would fascinate and detain like the ancient mariner must take his chance among the vulgar and commonplace in such a world; he has not that genteel introduction to culture and good society which in later years the choice annuals conferred, to which I have alluded. Of American almanacs in colonial years, laying more or less claim to literary merit, there was a fair variety; for besides "Poor Richard's" might be found "Poor Will's" or "Father Abraham's;" while the Boston Almanac had already a good footing among rivals which it long survived. Annuals like these asserted their claims as literary vehicles, whose jog was midway between the shifting newspaper or magazine and those books, more expectant of fame, which keep up the procession indefinitely. To increase their circulation, country traders and shopkeepers bought large quantities, receiving a liberal discount; so that the jobbing of popular books in a department store, which to-day makes such trouble for our retail booksellers, began before the Revolution, and with the rural general store. Of the choice and varied contents of these colonial chronicles we gather some conception by sampling the literary contents of those once popular publications as advertised in the colonial press. The Boston Almanac for 1772, besides its calendar record and "judgment of the weather," set forth stage distances of the chief towns on this continent, the civil list of the Massachusetts province, and the dates when the several courts held their sessions. Assuming, moreover, the easy function of household adviser, it set forth the correct treatment of gout, bruises and bunions, and showed how to build chimneys that would not smoke, and how to dress the soil ...
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