Not Quite Goodrich:
Works Not By Samuel G. Goodrich

The other bibliographies | Works actually by Goodrich

“Peter Parley” and his books were so popular that they were quickly imitated—and more. In 1856, Samuel Goodrich included a detailed rant about those who had published books using Parley’s name, in his Recollections of a Lifetime. He included a list of works that he knew about. The plagiarism became so distressing that he finally killed off “Peter Parley” in 1839, in a book titled Peter Parley’s Farewell. He announced in 1841 in Robert Merry’s Museum that Parley was “no more,” due to those who were “palming off trumpery works of their own as Peter Parley’s”—much to the surprise of some of Parley’s and Merry’s readers!

Below is a list of “not quite Parley’s,” based loosely on Goodrich’s list of spurious works, from Recollections. As in his book, they’re listed by nationality and by publisher; each entry includes the date of publication, when listed.

The Goodrich bibliography is complicated. Later scholars credited any work with the word “Parley” in the title to Goodrich. And several works Goodrich listed as spurious have his name on the copyright page: he appears to have adapted them and then adopted them as his own. Many of the adapted works were copyrighted in 1839, the year of Peter Parley’s “death” and Robert Merry’s creation. A good example is Peter Parley’s Wonders of the Earth, Sea and Sky, published in London in 1837: at least some illustrations were recreated for an American edition, and the copyright page states that “[t]his work is copied from the English edition, with various alterations.”

Other works, however, weren’t reworked by Goodrich, though they may still be listed by librarians, by dealers, and (alas!) by scholars and collectors as true Peter Parleys.

American | British | accidental


• “Parley’s Washington,” 1832 [“Peter Parley” appears on the spine, but not on the title page]

• “Parley’s Columbus,” 1832 [“Peter Parley” appears on the spine, but not on the title page]

• “Parley’s Franklin,” 1832 [“Peter Parley” appears on the spine, but not on the title page]

Peter Parley’s Story of the Mask. Boston: J. P. Cook, 1829.

“This tale, written in imitation of the Tales of Peter Parley, is not by the author of those Tales; it is, however, classed with the series, as being similar in size and design.” The little chapbook is exactly the same size as Goodrich’s own chapbooks.

Nafis & Cornish (New York) and E. Littlefield (Boston) published a handful of collections for adults. Nafis & Cornish published works in two volumes; E. Littlefield published two volumes in one. Both publishers apparently used the same stereotype plates—from the Boston Type and Stereotype Foundry. Some pieces already had appeared in The Token; each volume was copyrighted by Goodrich. Some volumes by Littlefield appeared as the “Economical Library”; some volumes by Nafis & Cornish appeared as “Peter Parley’s Select Library.” The titles are listed under the titles used by Littlefield, with the Nafis & Cornish titles following:

Moral Tales, 1840 (Littlefield)

vol 2 also as The Flower Basket (Nafis & Cornish) [AAS; LOC; NYPL]

Tales of Humor, 1840 (Littlefield) [AAS]

Tales of Terror, 1840 (Littlefield)

vol 1 also as Fairy Tales [The Storm Lights of Anzaska; Monos and Daimonos; The Iron Shroud; The Rock of the Candle; The Sisters; Der Freischutz; The Comet; A Night in a Church; The Dummburg; The Legend of Bethel Rock; The Oratory]
vol 2 also as Short Stories (Nafis & Cornish) [The Hermitess (from 1828 Token); The Spate; The Night Alarm; The Rattlesnake Hunter; The Tapestried Chamber; The Land’s-End of Cornwall; The Necromancer; Bernard, the Decore; The Old Hall; Marie; or, The Blue Kerchief; The Regicide; Adele; The Piedmontese Courier; The French Officer; The Last Trial of Fidelity] [AAS]

Tales of Love, 1841 (Littlefield)

vol 1 also as The Consul’s Daughter (Nafis & Cornish) [The Lily of Liddesdale; The Maid of Malines; Second Thoughts Best (by Catherine Sedgwick; from 1840 Token); The Lover’s Last Visit; Rachel Morisson; The Consul’s Daughter; Lawrence Bayley’s Temptation; The Drowned Fisherman; Bianca; illustrated with three plates, one of which had appeared already in The Token for 1835]
vol 2 also as The Rose Bud (Nafis & Cornish, 1840) [The Dead and the Living Husband; The Peasant Girl’s Love; The Two Kates; Count Rodolph’s Heir; The Parting Kiss; The Lowly Lady; Women are Fickle; Love in the Olden Time; The Muffled Priest; Isabelle, Her Sister Kate, and Their Cousin; The Spanish Duchess and the Orphan Boy; Snow-Storm in Scotland; Bertha Clerville; Love’s Recompense; The Young Minister and the Bride; Tradition of Rolandseck]

• “Parley’s Tales for the Times”

• “Parley’s Miscellanies”

• “Parley’s Tales of Adventure”

• “Parley’s Picture Books” [12 vols]

• “The Rose” [perhaps The Rose Bud, above]

• “The Bud” [perhaps The Rose Bud, above]

• “The Mines of Different Countries”

• “The Garden” [copyrighted by Goodrich]

• “The Gift”

• “Parley’s Book of Books” [may be extracts from Parley’s Magazine]

• “Parley’s Pictorial” [from Parley’s Magazine]

• “Parley’s Household Library” [from Parley’s Magazine]



• “Peter Parley’s Annual,” 1841

• “Peter Parley’s Royal Victoria Game of the Kings & Queens of England,” 1834

• “Parley’s Book of Gymnastics,” 1840

• “Parley’s Parting Gift,” 1846

• “Parley’s Book of Industry,” 1855

• “Parley’s Book of Poetry,” 1843

• “Parley’s Ireland,” 1843

• “Parley’s Wonders of Earth, Sea, & Sky,” 1837 [G, 1853] [reworked and copyrighted by Goodrich, 1839]

• “Parley’s Odds & Ends,” 1840

• “Parley’s Peeps at Paris,” 1848

• “Parley’s Prize Book,” 1848

• “Parley’s School Atlas,” 1842

• “Parley’s Canada,” 1839 [advertised in the June 1839 part of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby]

• “Parley’s China & the Chinese,” 1844


• “Parley’s Life & Journey of St. Paul,” 1845


• “Peter Parley’s Lives of the Twelve Apostles,” 1844

• “Peter Parley’s Visit to London during the Coronation,” 1838


• “Peter Parley’s Tales of England, Scotland, & Ireland,” 1842

• “Peter Parley’s Mythology of Greece & Rome,” 1841

• “Peter Parley’s Tales of Greece, Ancient & Modern,” 1842

• “Peter Parley’s Tales of Ancient Rome & Modern Italy,” 1840

• “Peter Parley’s Shipwrecks,” 1846

• “Parley’s Plants,” 1839

• “Parley’s Modern Geography,” 1837

• “Peter Parley’s Tales about Christmas,” 1839 [Goodrich apparently later reworked this book and published it in the U. S.]


• “Parley’s Bible Geography,” 1839


• “Parley’s Child’s First Step”


• “Parley’s Pic-nic” 1849

A phantom title which appears in The Boston Directory (Boston: George Adams, 1849; p. 40. google books) and William Charvat’s The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800-1870 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992; p. 176). This appears to be Perley’s Pic-nic, edited by Benjamin Perley Poore.

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