Johnny Crimson: A Legend of Hollis Hall

Regular price $175.00

MacKaye, Percy Wallace. Johnny Crimson: A Legend of Hollis Hall. Boston: Kiley (printer), 1895. 22 pp. Frontispiece by Alice Davenport. (8vo), original pictorial wrappers designed by Eric Pape. First EditionLimited Edition (50 copies printed). Light edgewear to wrappers, some staining and darkening at spine and edges; near fine.

The first book by MacKaye, a Harvard poet whose reputation during his lifetime was considerable - particularly among the literati, Robert Frost included. Johnny Crimson, published when MacKaye was a sophomore, is a tale in verse about student pranks at Harvard 100 years earlier. The cover illustration is an early example of Pape’s work. This copy in better condition than generally encountered.

From a review published in The Harvard Crimson May 1895:

"Johnny Crimson, a Legend of Hollis Hall," by Percy Wallace MacKaye '97, is a rhyme of some fifteen pages after the manner of "T' was the Night Before Christmas." The tale is a fanciful bit of work. It is the story of a freshman of the class of 1798 who "with heavy reel on tipsy heel," staggers out from Boston to be enticed out of his room by grave yard spooks who lead him a wild dance and conclude by tumbling him into the pump trough "as limp as a lump," "while one young Vandal keeps plying the handle."