The Florence Stories is a six volume series written by Jacob Abbott. As with many of Abbott's series, this is a travelogue series and the title character with companions travels to various sites. The destinations are not as important however as the simplistic lessons of morality and character that are learned by the traveling youngsters. Florence, her brother John, her cousin Grimkie, and her mother Mrs. Morelle (Mr. Morelle was away on business) had adventures stretching from their home in the Hudson River area of New York to Scotland, the English Channel, Rome, Paris, etc.

These stories' factual content actually came from visits to Europe that Abbott and his wife had taken in the 1850's.

A number of different publishers printed these books. All of the first editions were done by Sheldon and Company, a New York publisher. Since there were not too many publishers they will be listed in chronological order.

The books:

  1. Florence and John 1859 (Published in December, 1859-title page of first edition states 1860)
  2. Grimkie 1860
  3. Orkney Islands 1860
  4. English Channel 1862
  5. Isle of Wight 1862
  6. Florence's Return 1864

The publishers of the series included:
Sheldon and Company------------New York (1860-1871)
John R. Anderson-------------------New York (1882)
D. Lothrop and Company---------Boston (1883)
Dewolfe, Fiske and Company--Boston (1885-)
John W. Lovell-----------------------New York (1891-)
W. L. Allison Company------------New York (late-1890's)
Donohue Brothers------------------New York (1900)
M. A. Donohue-----------------------New York (1901)

Sheldon and Company, New York

Sheldon published a number of Abbott's Series. It published all of the first editions of the Florence Stories. Books from this series were published yearly between 1860 and 1871. A number of changes were made in the formats during this time span.

In 1861-1862 the books were 18 mo. (6.5 x 4.5). Thereafter they were 16 mo. (6.75 x 4.5).

 

1860 Sheldon edition- First edition

 

1862 Sheldon edition

 

1863 Sheldon Edition

 

Sheldon Edition-Unknown date (ca. 1864-1865)

 

1865 Sheldon Edition

 

1866 Sheldon Edition

 

1867 Sheldon and Company Edition

 

1868 Sheldon Edition

1871 Sheldon Edition

 

John R. Anderson- New York- 1882

John Anderson published the six book series in two different formats. The title pages are not dated. The earlier books have the same gold gilt decoration on the spine and in the center of the front cover as the latest Sheldon and Company published books. This makes sense when it is noted that John Anderson bought the Sheldon's Florence Series plates at auction in September, 1882.

The books were sold individually or as a $6.00 set. The later Anderson book cover has been seen in several colors. The Dewolfe, Fiske and D. Lothrop and Company's covers are identical to this later Anderson cover.

 

1882

 

1883

 

D. Lothrop and Company- Boston- 1883

Lothrop published the six volume Florence set for $6.00 in 1883. The books were not sold individually. The format is the same as the Anderson books. This is despite 1883 Lothrop ads which state "with new and very elegant dies". Most likely Lothrop leased the plates for a short time from Anderson.

 

Dewolfe, Fiske and Company, New York 1885

This publisher printed the six volumes of the Florence series in 1885. It noted in advertisements that it was publishing miscellaneous books of the "Anderson School Book Company". Similar to the publishing history of the Rollo Travels books, it appears that Anderson leased these book plates to Lothrop for a short time but subsequently Dewolfe, Fiske and Company made arrangements with the Anderson School-Book Company to publish their entire line of books, including the Rollo books (Publishers' Weekly, 1885).

 

John W. Lovell, New York

In 1891 Lovell published the six Florence Stories Series in its Rugby Edition in Sets. The six 12 mo. volumes were sold for $3.00.
These books have not been seen.

 

W. L. Allison Company, New York

Allison published the six volumes of the Florence Stories Series in its Snug Corner publisher's series in the 1890's. The Allison Snug Corner Series has been seen with different covers. It is not known whether the Florence books were seen with different Snug Corner Series covers.

When it was succeeded by Donohue Brothers in 1899, the latter company also published the six volumes within this series.

 

Donohue Brothers, New York 1900

The Donohue Brothers bought all of the W. L. Allison Company's plates in 1900. M. A. Donohue succeeded the Donohue Brothers in 1901. It is not known whether the cover pictured is the only Snug Corner cover seen with the Donohue Brothers' Florence Stories. This publisher only printed five of the six Florence stories. Grimkie was not included in this series' list.

 

M. A. Donohue and Company, New York 1901

Michael A. Donohue's publishing house succeeded the Donohue Brothers in 1901. It is not known whether the Florence Stories are included in this publisher's Snug Corner title list. In 1904 the cover for this series had changed and there are no Florence titles in the 50 volume list.