This was an Ebay find. I forgot to check postage on this and it was quite a shock because the book is s-o-o thick and s-o-o heavy. A lesson learned. I am always particular about postage since this purchase. But I don't regret the purchase. It is a magnificent old book in wonderful condition.
While the book promotes American literature, it is not exclusively American as it contains the works of major English writers. In fact, the three portraits on the cover include Tennyson beside Longfellow and Hawthorne.
The words on the title page are as follows:
Home School of American Literature or Easy Steps to an Education or The Lives and Writings of our Best Authors embracing The great poets of England and America, famous novelists, distinguished essayists and historians, our humorists, noted journalists and magazine contributors, statesmen in literature, noted women in literature, popular writers for young people, great orators and public lecturers, etc./Compiled and edited by William Wilfred Bursall, A.B., Principal of Central School, Philadelphia; Rufus M Jones, A.M., Professor of Philosophy, Haverford College, and others/Embellished with nearly one hundred and fifty half-tone portraits and about 200 text illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson, Corwin K. Linson and Others/Published by Elliott Publishing Co., Philadelphia, PA.
The facing page to the title page has a photograph of "The New Congressional Library, Washington, D.C." On the obverse of the title page are the words:
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1897, by W.E. Scull in the office of the Librarian of Congress, in Washington. All rights reserved/All persons are warned not to infringe upon our copyright by using either the matter or the pictures in this volume.
The book has a specific section for Recitation.
I purchased the book because I have a small collection of the works of Rufus Jones, a great Quaker writer. Some people think that if Quakers had saints then Rufus Jones would be one!
I find books such as these a delight - and some more might pop up in Show and Tell!