Hawthorne Literary Annual First Printing
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Little Annie’s Ramble” in Youth’s Keepsake. A Christmas and New Year’s Gift for Young People
Boston: E. R. Broaders, 1835
Original quarter morocco over yellow boards, spine gilt, all edges gilt. Rubbed.
The first printing of Hawthorne’s “Little Annie’s Ramble,” Hawthorne’s fable of childhood innocence. After the main character’s “ramble” through town with young Annie, he reflects: “Sweet has been the charm of childhood on my spirit, throughout my ramble with Little Annie! Say not that it has been a waste of precious moments, an idle manner, a babble of childish talk, and a reverie of childish imaginations, about topics unworthy of a grown man’s notice. Has it been merely this? Not so; not so. … As the pure breath of children revives the life of aged men, so is our moral nature revived by their free and simple thoughts, their native feeling, their airy mirth, for little cause or none, their grief, soon roused and soon allayed. Their influence on us is at least reciprocal with ours on them.” The story is unsigned in the present volume, credited only to “The Author of ‘The Gentle Boy.’”