The Acquisitions Table: Grandmamma Easy’s Joseph and His Brethren

Grandmamma Easy’s Joseph and His Brethren. Albany: William B. Sprague, Jr., ca. 1840-1860.

This picture book history of the Old Testament hero Joseph gives the modern reader a precious glance into popular mid-nineteenth-century American iconography portraying the Middle East. Jacob’s family is seen here nestled among palm trees, pyramids, and obelisks, with camels in tow.  Albany publisher William Buell Sprague (1826-1906) was the son of a prominent minister.  He apparently copied this edition from one issued by Philadelphia publisher George Swett Appleton.

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