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; Goodrich copyrighted The Life of Christopher Columbus in 1832]

• “Parley’s Franklin,” 1832 [“Peter Parley” appears on the spine, but not on the title page; Goodrich copyrighted The Life of Benjamin Franklin in 1832]

At least two publishers produced chapbooks “in imitation of the Tales of Peter Parley”; all are exactly the same size, with the same cover illustration and font as Goodrich’s own chapbooks—not difficult in the case of Carter & Hendee, who also published Goodrich’s chapbooks. Each is copyrighted by Carter & Hendee and has the following on the copyright page: “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 illustrations from those by Carter & Hendee were re-used in 1842 when Goodrich published Moral Tales.

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

Peter Parley’s Story of the Pleasure Boat. Boston: Carter & Hendee, 1829. [Illustration reprinted in Moral Tales]

Peter Parley’s Story of the Storm. Boston: Carter & Hendee, 1829. [Illustration reprinted in Moral Tales]

Mahlon Day reprinted and abridged several works by Goodrich as chapbooks and at least one book.

Stories About the Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars; From the Works of Peter Parley. NY: Mahlon Day & Co., n. d. 8 pp.

From the preface: “Peter Parley has made a great many books for children, and very good and useful ones too. … Please to step in at the Book-store, No. 374, Pearl-street, and you will find them all there for sale.” Day’s bookstore was at 374 Pearl Street.

Peter Parley’s Visit to the City of New-York. New York: Mahlon Day & Co., 1832? 32 pp.

Text taken from Peter Parley’s Tales about the State and City of New York

• Parley’s New-York Children’s Books: Parley’s Stories About Curious and Wonderful Birds. New York: Mahlon Day, 1836. 30 pp.

• Parley’s New-York Children’s Books: Parley’s Stories About the Chinese; and Their Silk Manufactories. New York: Mahlon Day, 1836. 32 pp.

• “Parley’s Book of Books”; 2nd edition: New York: Mahlon Day & Co., 1839.

note: Apparently extracts from Parley’s Magazine. A paragraph from the book accompanies an illustration on the cover of a copy book which may have been printed by Day.

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”

Peter Parley’s Annual, for 1855. NY: Evans & Dickerson, 1855 [A reprint of a British annual; Goodrich sued to halt its distribution.]

Peter Parley’s Merry Stories. N.p.: James Miller, 1869. [works reprinted from Robert Merry’s Museum]

• “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” [perhaps The Mine.]

• “The Garden” [copyrighted by Goodrich]

• “The Gift” [possibly Peter Parley’s Gift, published by Samuel Colman]

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

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


[See also Lawrence Darton. The Dartons: An Annotated Checklist of Children’s Books Issued by Two Publishing Houses, 1787-1876. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2004.]

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

• “Parley’s Wonders of Earth, Sea, & Sky,” 1837 [G, 1853] [Darton H241; reworked and copyrighted by Goodrich, 1839]

• “Parley’s Canada,” 1839 [Darton H250; advertised in the June 1839 part of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby]

• “Parley’s Book of Gymnastics,” 1840

• “Parley’s Odds & Ends,” 1840 [Darton H1195: “untraced”]

• “Peter Parley’s Annual,” 1840-1890s [G, 1841] [This annual appears to have been first published in 1840 by Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. until Darton & Co. took up the title in 1845; the annuals were published by Darton through 1869; other publishers printed annuals under the title until at least 1888.]

Peter Parley’s Wonders of Art 1841 [Darton H239]

• “Parley’s School Atlas,” 1842

• “Parley’s Book of Poetry,” 1843 [Darton H639; Goodrich published Peter Parley’s Book of Poetry for Children in 1834]

• “Parley’s Ireland,” 1843 [Daron H1216; Goodrich published Ireland and the Irish in 1841]

• “Parley’s Parting Gift,” 1846 [Darton H1050]

• “Parley’s Peeps at Paris,” 1848 [Darton H1051]

• “Parley’s Prize Book,” 1848

• “Parley’s China & the Chinese,” 1844 [Darton H1214; Darton notes that this book wasn’t even advertised until 1845, though Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. published a book by this title in 1843]

Peter Parley’s Wonders of the Sea and Sky 1851 [Darton H242]

• “Parley’s Book of Industry,” 1855 [Darton 1193: “untraced”]

Our Oriental Kingdom 1857 [Darton 1044]


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

Peter Parley’s Annual 1840-1844 [see annuals above, under Darton]


• “Peter Parley’s Visit to London during the Coronation,” 1838 [Also published by Tilte as Peter Parley’s Visit to London, During the Coronation of Queen Victoria. London: Charles Tilte, 1839.

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


• “Parley’s Modern Geography,” 1837

Tales of Animals, by Peter Parley, 3rd ed. London: Tegg & Son, 1837. [also, Peter Parley’s Tales About Natural History]

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

• “Parley’s Plants,” 1839

Tales About the United States of America, by Peter Parley. London: Thomas Tegg, 1839.

• “Peter Parley’s Tales of Ancient Rome & Modern Italy,” 1840 [Also published by Allman as Peter Parley’s Tales About Rome and Italy. London: T. Allman, 1842. Goodrich did publish Peter Parley’s Tales about Ancient Rome in 1832, but not in this combination.]

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

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

• “Peter Parley’s Tales of England, Scotland, & Ireland,” 1842 [Perhaps Tales About Great Britain and Ireland, by Peter Parley. London: Thomas Tegg & Son, 1836.]

• “Peter Parley’s Shipwrecks,” 1846

[Peter Parley’s] Tales About the Sun. London: William Tegg & Co., 1848.


• “Parley’s Bible Geography,” 1839


• “Parley’s Child’s First Step”


Peter Parley’s Tales About the Boy Banditti, and Other Matters. London: Thomas Holmes, n.d.


• “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.