Drifting About, 1863 First Ed. Memoir Stephen C Massett
Drifting About; or What Jeems Pipes of Pipesville Saw and Did, 1863, is a First Edition Memoir of Stephen C Massett, popular English lecturer, entertainer and informal historian who with great wit and charm tells of his adventures and interviews in America, India, England and Egypt, 1837-1858. He provides vital information for the social historian.
This fascinating story-teller enjoyed telling of his encounters and interviews with such people as Longfellow and Washington Irving along with a variety of theatre people and notables in foreign lands. The book might be called an autobiography but one must remember that Massett was an entertainer.
"San Francisco's first entertainer, Stephen C. Massett, was the true Bohemian type. He was an artist, with an equal capacity for work and diversion, whose ruling principle was, 'If your pocket is light make your heart light to match it; if your coat is torn, laugh while you you patch it.'"
Massett was a "red-faced little Englishman" with a wealth of copper-colored curls, a heavy mustache and goatee, a face full and mobile, with the nose of the philosopher and the eyes of the dreamer. He was poet-actor, song and dance artist, composer, essayist, lawyer, auctioneer, notary public, and "wandering minstrel in many lands."
He was best known to San Francisco as "Jeems Pipes of Pipesville," his nom de plume as a writer of humorous prose. It pleased Mr. Massett, after his characteristic vein of humor, to call Pipesville a "ranch," but in reality it was "a little house not much larger than a full-sized Saratoga trunk" in a bog near the "bridge" on Mission Street."
This illustrated first edition is in only fair condition with a green cover that is worn and scuffed in places and a weak binding that is showing signs of breaking away at front and back attachments. But the binding remains firm. The page edges are browned with age.
There are "many comic illustrations by Mullen," engravings and drawings
The book measures 5 inches by 7 1/2 inches by 1 1/8 inches and has 371 pages.