Paris: A. Eichler, [n.d., ca. 1906-1908]. 100 issues, 32pp. each, many with an additional leaf of ads at the end. Printed in two columns, in French. Quarto. Original color pictorial wrappers. Moderate scattered foxing and toning (as usual), with occasional brittleness or chipping at the edges, ten issues with one or both wrappers detached but all wrappers present. Internal text clean throughout. A good plus collection. Item #WRCAM55680
An unbroken run of the first 100 issues of this popular French weekly chronicling the adventures of Buffalo Bill as he battles Indians and other assorted bad guys in the Wild West. The magazine bills itself as "the only original edition authorized by Col. W.F. Cody, known as Buffalo Bill." Each issue contains a separate story, with the title printed in French on the cover (often accompanied by an English translation), and the text entirely in French. Each has a wonderfully color illustrated front wrapper, showing Cody rescuing settlers, saving damsels in distress, battling an Indian, or gunning down a miscreant. Many of the issues contain a biographical sketch of Cody on the rear wrapper, touting that his adventures are legendary to American readers, and now French audiences have an opportunity to read his stories themselves. Some of the titles include: "Buffalo Bill's Decoy Boys or The Death-Rivals of the Big Horn," "Buffalo Bill's Death Grapple or Shadowed by the Sure Shots," "Buffalo Bill's Brother in Buckskin or The Redskin Lariat Rangers," and "Buffalo Bill at War with the Danites or The Crafty Mormon's Darkest Plot." Other issues are devoted to Buffalo Bill's adventures with specific Indian chiefs, including Big Elk and Tahrokee. The publisher, A. Eichler, was simultaneously producing periodicals describing the adventures of the American detective, Nick Carter, the Pinkerton agents, and the pirate Capt. Morgan. The Buffalo Bill stories were at the peak of their popularity in Europe between 1906 and 1912, the year of Eichler's death, but continued in new periodical editions through the larger part of the twentieth century. The total number of titles issued in this series is unknown, but may have stretched beyond two hundred. OCLC reports numerous scattered institutional holdings, but only a few with runs as vast as the present collection. A fine example of the French fascination with the American West, and an uncommon opportunity to secure such a long run of a very rare and culturally significant periodical. Ronald A. Fullerton, "Toward a Commercial Popular Culture in Germany: The Development of Pamphlet Fiction, 1871- 1914" in JOURNAL OF SOCIAL HISTORY Vol. 12, No. 4 (Summer 1979), pp.489-511.