[Brussels: Sobeli, ca. 1906-1912]. Twenty-seven issues, 31-32pp. per issue, printed in two columns, in French. Quarto. Color pictorial wrappers, some detached, some repaired with early cellophane tape, one rear wrapper lacking, one front wrapper detached but present. Moderate foxing, soiling, and toning. Frequent small tears at edges, rarely exceeding 1/4-inch; some chipping. Some issue numbers crossed out and replaced in ink manuscript. Good. Item #WRCAM38597
An early European collection of twenty-seven Buffalo Bill stories, printed in French by German publisher Alwin Eichler. Francophone audiences in Europe were first widely exposed to the popular American Buffalo Bill dime novels during the first decade of the 20th century, when Eichler bought the rights to the stories (along with those of Nick Carter) and began issuing translations in several European languages. Sometime after Eichler's death in 1912 - and most likely after the end of the First World War - Belgian publishing house Sobeli took over the French-language publication of the stories, issuing BUFFALO BILL LE HÉROS DU FAR=WEST in multiple series. 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 20th century. The present series, which is likely the first issued by Sobeli, is printed with the price of 1 Franc 50 (an advertisement on the rear wrapper indicates that this is in French, rather than Belgian, francs) through issue number 148, and 1 Fr. 75 for numbers 104-154 (a printed label covers the original price for number 151). Each issue includes one full story and features the dramatic color cover art and English cover titles of the corresponding American edition below the French-language masthead. This collection includes issue numbers 32, 33, 36, 37, 57, 68, 69, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 84, 100 (two copies), 112, 114, 118, 120, 127, 146, 148, and 151-154. Despite their wide distribution, the early European Buffalo Bill novels today are particularly scarce, owing in large part to the cheap paper on which they were printed. A great run of colorful pulp Americana in circa-1920s France. 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.