Jacob Abbott (1803-1879)

Jacob Abbott was a congregationalist minister who was perhaps the most influential and prolific author of children's books in the mid-19th century. His series of Rollo books as well as his other series for juveniles were published by numerous firms both in the United States and England. The Maker of History series books were published for more than 50 years and are still popular today among home schoolers. His Lucy series may have been the first girl's series (1842).

The books were not overly entertaining or full of adventure. Although Rollo may have traveled throughout Europe, Abbott's bottom line was to teach religion and morals to the readership. This is true for all of his juvenile work.

His books about religion and in particular his Young Christian Series were immensely popular in Christian circles.

In all he wrote more than 200 books which were published by more than a hundred different publishers.

He authored books mainly in his own name but early on used pseudonyms such as Erodore and Marianne. The Erodore nom de plume was a palindrome which all members of a secret society at Andover Theological Seminary were required to adopt. Other names used by Abbott were Mertrem and Phala.

Bibliographies of Abbott books have been written by Carl Weber in 1948 (Published by the Colby College Press) and Rollo Silver-published in the Colophon in 1939. These however do not discuss the numerous reprints and have no pictures. I hope to remedy those shortcomings (as time goes on) with this site.

For the most comprehensive Jacob Abbott biography on the web, see http://readseries.com/auth-a/ab-bio.html.