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The book was written by Anna Sewell and published by M. A.

Donohue & Company. There are...
The book was written by Anna Sewell and published by M. A. Donohue & Company. There are no dates printed in the book. book is red with silver dollar size print of horse in it in the center of the book. flowers to the right & left. 1912 or earlier. what have i got? thank you for you site & your help tom
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Answered in 21 minutes by:
5/6/2009
Kara T
Kara T, Research Analyst
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 353
Experience: Quick and thorough Internet researcher!
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Hello, Tom - and welcome to JustAnswer!

It sounds as though you have a vintage edition of the fabled children's story Black Beauty, which was originally written in 1877 and first published in the US in 1894.

M.A. Donohue & Co. published many, many editions over the years, so it is possible (though unlikely) that your edition may be worth money. Unfortunately, I've already found copies of the book printed 1911 or circa 1920 that are for sale online for no more than $9 to $11 (see here: http://www.alibris.com/search/books/qwork/8212719/used/Black%20Beauty )

If nothing else, it can be a treasured family heirloom!

I hope this was helpful; reply if you have any follow-up questions at all. Thanks for using JustAnswer!
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Hi again, Tom -- I just wanted to add that I found this for sale and wasn't sure if it matched your copy. I suspect this is a different edition, but in case:
http://cgi.ebay.com/M.A.-Donohue-1902-Black-Beauty-Young-Folks%27-Edition_W0QQitemZ400025371706QQcmdZViewItem
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I FOUND THE HISTORY & COPIES FOR $9 ON E-BAY ALSO - BUT NONE WITH THIS COVER - THAT IS WHY I ASKED THE QUESTION - THE RARE ONES WON'T BE ON E-BAY. WHAT HAVE i GO?
Unfortunately, Tom, I believe the worth of your copy is comparable to the others you have found. One reason for believing so is that a great number of different, classic children's books published by M. A. Donohue in this era are also valued around $10.

M. A. Donohue was a mass publishing house, not necessarily known for the quality of its printing -- which is perhaps the reason that such antique books have such a surprisingly low value.

Here is an excerpt from a collegiate conference on publishing house history, by Karen Crossley: "In the early 1900s, the M. A. Donohue publishing company of Chicago began publishing a series of Black Beauty for Young Folks editions. So many of these slim, large format volumes were published, differing only in the cover illustration, that it's hard to imagine that any American nursery at the turn of the century would have been considered complete without one. The books all have attractive covers, but inside they are very dull affairs, printed on cheap paper and illustrated with a variety of muddy halftone prints seemingly chosen for inclusion because they feature horses, not necessarily because they illustrate any scenes from the text." (bolding mine)

 

She also notes that the first American edition of Black Beauty was a pirated edition adapted by George Angell. Thus, your book is probably one of the many referred to in the excerpt; while it may not match the other books you have found online perfectly, it is almost certainly from the same series and of comparable worth.

 

I hope this further information helps, though I'm sure it's not the answer you were hoping to receive. I'm happy to keep researching, so just reply if you have any questions.

Kara T
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