1900 · Boston
Uncommon first edition: Set in and around Boston, this is an edifyingly heartwarming tale of two lost children — having been taken and trained as performers by a pair of Italian tramps — found, with the action opening just before Thanksgiving and the planned holiday meal providing a minor plot point. Among their saviors, most of whom receive various blessings in return, are a generous doctor, a protective Newfoundland dog (depicted in one of the plates), and most importantly an impoverished but kindly woman and her elderly mother suffering from dementia.
This appears to be not only the first but the only 20th-century edition of the only work published by Roe, whose name is also given as Mrs. Alfred S. Roe on the title-page; the eight plates were done by => popular children's illustrator Bertha G. Davidson.
=> A search of WorldCat finds this two-woman collaboration physically in only two U.S. institutions (Harvard and the University of Chicago).
Binding: Publisher's sage green cloth (unsigned) stamped in black, white, and gilt, with the two children dancing and playing their tambourines on the front cover, and good dog Napoleon on the spine.
Not in Wright. Publisher's cloth as above, spine very slightly darkened, minimal wear to extremities. Front fly-leaf with early pencilled ownership inscription. Pages faintly age-toned, otherwise clean. => A solid, pleasing copy of this scarce New England–flavored item; a tale offering much sentimentality, but also plenty of realism. (Inventory #: 41370)