Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/45

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ELIZA LESLIE.

suggested my getting rid of the inconvenience by giving them to the public in print. An offer was immediately made to me by Munroe & Francis, of Boston, to publish them on fair terms. The little volume had much success, and has gone through many editions. Mr. Francis being urgent that I should try my hand at a work of imagination, I wrote a series of juvenile stories, which I called the Mirror. It was well received, and was followed by several other story-books for youth—“The Young Americans,” “Stories for Emma,” “Stories for Adelaide,” “Atlantic Tales,” “Stories for Helen,” “Birth-day Stories.” Also, I compiled a little book called “The Wonderful Traveller,” being an abridgment (with essential alterations) of Munchausen, Gulliver, and Sindbad. In 1831 Munroe and Francis published my “American Girls’ Book,” of which an edition is still printed every year. Many juvenile tales, written by me, are to be found in the annuals called the Pearl and the Violet.

I had but recently summoned courage to write fictions for grown people, when my story of Mrs. Washington Potts obtained a prize from Mr. Godey, of the Lady’s Book. Subsequently I was allotted three other prizes successively, from different periodicals. I then withdrew from this sort of competition.

For several years I wrote an article every month for the Lady’s Book, and for a short time I was a contributor to Graham’s Magazine; and occasionally, I sent, by invitation, a contribution to the weekly papers. I was also editor of the Gift, an annual published by Carey & Hart; and of the Violet, a juvenile souvenir.

My only attempt at anything in the form of a novel, was “Amelia, or a Young Lady s Vicissitudes,” first printed in the Lady’s Book, and then in a small volume by itself. Could I begin anew my literary career, I would always write novels instead of short stories.

Three volumes of my tales were published by Carey & Lea, under the title of Pencil Sketches. Of these, there will soon be a new edition. In 1838 Lea & Blanchard printed a volume containing “Althea Vernon, or the Embroidered Handkerchief,” and “Henrietta Harrison, or the Blue Cotton Umbrella.” Several