Samuel Griswold Goodrich

By D. Roselle

Hardcover : 9780873950336, 181 pages, June 1968

Table of contents


I. Peter Parley in the Making

II. First Literary Adventures and the Journey to Barleywood

III. The Tales of Peter Parley Textbooks

IV. The Peter Parley Textbooks

V. The Spurious Peter Parleys

VI. The Token

VII. Goodrich and Hawthorne

VIII. Samuel Goodrich: Social Reformer, Diplomat, and Patriarch





Peter Parley has, alas, gone the way of the children he once entertained, the children of our great-grandfathers in the early half of the American nineteenth century. But in his day he was a household word, a teller of cautionary tales, instructive fables, and reports of strange lands. He lived in the series of little books found in thousands of homes, in the elementary readers and textbooks, even in the spate of imitation and spurious "Peter Parley" books—and he lived in the hearts of young readers across the new country.

If Peter Parley is forgotten today, his creator Samuel Griswold Goodrich is no less well remembered, though in their lifetime the two were almost synonymous. In later years Goodrich even resembled his fictitious narrator—gouty foot, silver hair, stout wooden cane, and all.

Believing old Peter Parley and his creator deserve a better fate, Daniel Roselle has dipped into our history to produce this biography of Samuel Griswold Goodrich. A well-known author, editor, and publisher even before he conceived Peter Parley books, Goodrich deserves at least a footnote to American literary history. As the author of the most popular children's books of his day, he demands recognition as a cultural and educational force. And Professor Roselle's charming and straightforward narrative helps recapture the spell of the era and the wonder of childhood stories.

Daniel Roselle's interest in Samuel Griswold Goodrich stems from his twin interests in history and in children's literature. One of his major fields is French folklore, and in the 1950's a Fulbright research grant enabled him to travel widely in France gathering authentic folk stories in the oral tradition; many of these he has since published in a variety of magazines, both popular and scholarly. He has also published poems and stories of his own, as well as scholarly articles and A World History, a high school text.

Daniel Roselle did his undergraduate work at the College of the City of New York and earned his M. A. and Ph. D. at Columbia University. He taught at Teachers College and Fairleigh Dickinson University before assuming his present position as Professor of History at State University of New York College at Fredonia. He has been active in research on social studies education in the secondary schools and is co-author of the National Council for the Social Studies report, Promising Practices in Civic Education. He has also served as a book review editor for Social Education. In 1961 he helped organize and served as first director of a pioneer SUNY education abroad program, Fredonia College's Junior Semester in Antwerp.