The Long-Lost Friend in Der Readinger Adler

So The Long-Lost Friend is proceeding along, slowly but surely.  I’m delving into some of the particular incantations or recipes in the book, with the help of the Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens, a massive ten-volume work on German traditions and superstitions.  M. and I hauled nine out of the ten out of a local library (“each one of these is as big as a dictionary, Dan!” “I know!  Isn’t it great?”), and I’m working my way through the entries on various herbs.  I might delve more into the other elements later – it’s really a wonderful and comprehensive resource on all manner of topics.

The other mini-project was going through Der Readinger Adler, a weekly Reading paper for 1819-1820, which I got on microcard.   The goal was to narrow down the potential date of publication of Der lange verborgene Freund –  the oldest known copies are supposedly of the second print, and the introduction is dated 1819 and not 1820.  I was hoping that Hohman, who my research is revealing as quite the self-publicist, would run ads for the book when it appeared.  I came up with absolutely no mentions.  Oddly enough, there were plenty of ads throughout this period for another of Hohman’s publications – the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus – and that publication even had subscribers, unlike Freund.   I’m left to wonder whether Hohman simply chose not to advertise it, or if the Adler wouldn’t run his ads.  I don’t think there’s any way of finding out.

I’ll keep you updated as I find more.

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is just idle speculation, but based on a statement made in “The Red Church” (Bilardi, 2009) it may be that the book was finished in 1819 and then went through two quick printings in 1820 – presumably the first printing was small and sold quickly, which prompted a larger second printing. Again, that’s just idle speculation, I’ve no proof of it since no one’s come forward with a first edition copy to the best of my knowledge.

  2. Hi Dan

    Do you know “The Journal of American Folklore Vol. XVII. —APRIL-JUNE, 1904.— No. LXV.”pp 89-152? There you can find a very good essay on the “friend” with an annotated reprint of the 1863 edition. It should be on

    By the way the “Handwörterbuch des Deutschen Aberglaubens” is brilliant and it stands on my shelf for 15 years.


  3. Wow. Great find. Googlebooks has it too.

  4. “Handwörterbuch des Deutschen Aberglaubens” — I have to read this. Btw — I’m the C R Bilardi who wrote The Red Church.

    • Hello, Mr. Bilardi! I do have the Red Church, and I was going to make a quick comment about it later. I highly recommend the Handwörterbuch – it’s a wonderful resource – though I should warn you it’s ten thick volumes.

  5. Yes, I just looked it up and it’s huge. Let me know if you have any questions regarding The Red Church.

  6. Dess iss eppes. Ya gewiss. Machs guud.

  7. Hello,
    Have you by chance checked Carl Bruckman’s Readinger Postbothe und Berks, Schuykill und Montgomery Caunties Adverteiser, for Hohman ads? The newspaper was a weekly, running from 1816-23. As Bruckman was involved with Hohman’s books, his newspaper would be a likely source for advertisements.

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