Chicago: U.S.Publishing House, 1886. This edition is “Carefully Revised, with Additional Matter.” OCLC lists four previous editions, beginning in 1882, and one later edition released in 1889. Some fading to spine and some edgewear, but overall the binding is fine, bright, and attractive. White endpapers with beige floral pattern. Marbled edges. Uniform toning throughout due to paper quality and a little bit of foxing. Overall a very good, tight copy. Publisher’s red cloth stamped in black with scenes of a well and a woman sitting in front of a hearth and with a black decorative border. Front cover and spine also lettered and stamped in gilt. Back cover stamped in blind to match front cover. Octavo. x pp., pp. 11-644. With frontisportrait, floral text decorations and ornamented initials throughout, and 7 unnumbered plates. Item #16683
Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was a Scottish writer who reached the status of a literary celebrity when he published his book Self Help; with Illustrations of Character and Conduct in 1859. Smiles appears to have had a keen interest in the history and art of pottery, as a chapter in Self Help is devoted to it, and discussion of the topic also occupies about twenty pages of Happy Homes (pp. 190-207). Aside from “The History of Pottery,” Happy Homes covers an extremely broad variety of other topics across its 650 pages, from “Women’s Intelligence” (p. 113) to “The Despotism of Fashion” (459) to a biographical sketch of the seventeenth-century poet Andrew Marvell and his work (p. 289).