1885; Charles Scribner's Sons publishers; hardbound with green decorative boards and gilt lettering and designs on cover; book in good conditon for 1885; no dust jacket issued; original owner's name inside (pencil).
Frank Richard Stockton (April 5, 1834 – April 20, 1902) was an American writer and humorist, best known today for a series of innovative children's fairy tales that were widely popular during the last decades of the 19th century.
Like his contemporary Mark Twain, Stockton often pokes gentle fun at people’s credulity and irrationality. For instance, the protagonist of his “A Story of Seven Devils” (1888) is a resourceful, illiterate, preacher. One Sunday, following a scolding from his overbearing wife, he stands at the pulpit and tells his parishioners that “the Bible declared that every woman in this world was possessed by seven devils.” The women are incensed, and after prolonged discussions, the community resolves to dismiss him from his unpaid post—unless he provides Biblical authority for his claim. Next sermon he asks the villagers: Didn’t Jesus cast seven devils from Mary Magdalene? After his parishioners concede that Jesus did, the preacher offers the following (convincing enough to his flock) punch line: “"But did enny ob you ebber read, or hab read to you, dat he ebber cas' 'em out o' enny udder woman?"